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2003-11-23 - 6:53 a.m.

5 am thoughts

Here’s a poem with which I don’t normally identify:

6 A.M. Thoughts

As soon as you wake they come blundering in

Like puppies or importunate children;

What was a landscape emerging from mist

Becomes at once a disordered garden.

And the mess they trail with them! Embarrassments,

Anger, lust, fear – in fact the whole pig-pen;

And who’ll clean up? No hope for sleep now-

Just heave yourself out, make the tea, and give in.

-- Dick Davis

Only this morning, it was 5am thoughts, they were importunate kittens, and I gave in and made Starbucks coffee. After my third mental packing and unpacking of the top drawer of the file cabinet next to my bed, I decided that I would stop pretending to be sleeping.

So I am awake. I still have that horrible, sickly, achy heavy head-and-stomach feeling that you get early in the morning from west-to-east jetlag. Yet my sub-conscious can’t seem to win out over my conscious self.

K called me sometime yesterday afternoon and all was better between us. I am still clearly VERY STRESSED OUT. Nevertheless, the bickering has stopped, and although my teeth are still clenched, I am back to adoring him again.

And if you were at all worried about the packing box issue – K and I went to Walmart together and discovered that my very specifically desired boxes do not exist in Europe. All this box searching springs from a cultural office difference in “size.” Americans like short and fat paper (so-called “letter size”) and Europeans prefer the long and thin design (technically referred to as “A4”). And in a global economy this causes no end to small office annoyances – it’s not a fact that you think about normally, but American and European file cabinets are entirely different sizes. The entire filing industry has different standards. Anyhow, after having adapted to Europe, I now must cram my long and thin paper back into a short and fat filing cabinet. In the end it probably will be cheaper and better for the American economy (and perhaps also for my peace of mind) if I simply pay a student to spend half a day sorting my files.

This is the kind of thought that has been keeping me awake at 5am. Pathetic, yet true. Poor K. No wonder he was frustrated with me Friday. But feeling that he’s back on my side and having some time alone with him yesterday made me feel significantly better. I still stress about the fact that I’m stressed – it’s kind of a stress power law or something (wow that was a geeky science thing to say). But he is helping me, and remarkably patient, given my current fixation with mundane things like file boxes.

A brought her sister to my place and made us all a fantastic dinner last night. Every time I spend time with any of A’s family, I understand her a little better. I suspect that she takes care of me as much as she takes care of all of them. Oh, all of her family (and in particular her sister) seem fiercely independent, and certainly don’t need to be coddled. Which is especially interesting – A somehow has a knack for caring for fiercely independent people, the type of people who handle the day-to-day issues but somehow need a little emotional nurturing from a friendly voice, a wonderfully cooked meal and a warm laugh. I am going to miss her terribly.

OK, now that I am starting my second cup of coffee and feeling warm thoughts towards my two favorite people in Jena, I think I’ll climb back into bed with a book. This is my favorite way to spend a Sunday morning, even if it doesn’t normally begin so early…

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