April 23, 2013 by mattwilcoxen
Most mornings I wake a few moments before my alarm is set to detonate. I relieve myself of the liquids of the previous evening and walk quietly out of my dark bedroom and into the hallway of my flat, where I remove the baby gate that holds my 9 month old labrador puppy at bay. Usually he seems sleepier than me, a fact that he manifests with slow and vocal yawns. He saunters lazily after me into the tiny kitchenette and dissolves into a pile next to me, making sure that as much of him is touching as much of me as possible. I try to accommodate his need for physical touch by contorting my body in order to make my morning coffee without interrupting his leisurely sunrise routine. I prepare my little black volcano in its filter, flip on the electric kettle, and wait.
While the cold water begins its ascent, I reach for my iPhone. I open the mail app, eagerly watching it download the latest round of junk email, and occasionally a short and trivial note from someone I know. Very occasionally I am struck by the anticipation present as the phone receives its payload. It is as if I am really waiting for something important, something monumental. I sense the supreme possibility that good or ill, hope or disappointment might enter my life. It’s something akin to the excitement with which I opened those cleverly folded notes from girls in high school. It must be similar to the way in which a young woman feels as she urinates on the test strip after missing her scheduled period. It must be the way a young American man felt in 1969 as he watched the draft lottery broadcast live on TV.
Recently I’ve wondered: what am I waiting for? What do I expect to come through that utterly absurd little electronic device (the one that I–and countless others–told ourselves we needed to make us more productive, more creative, more connected)? I have no idea what I am looking for specifically, but the following predicates leap to mind: meaning, beauty, joy, solidity, depth, rest, affirmation, color. This strange specious present is me, it’s me me– real me. It’s me in all my emptiness, it’s me as a desire that I do not attempt to suppress or sate. There, for an irreducible amount of temporal extension, I wait. No, I pray.
Thus far, my supplications have gone unanswered.
The kettle bell goes off. The coffee grinds bloom in the basket and drop their sweet black nectar into my cup. The native at my feet grows restless. And I leave me behind and begin another day.