An alarm sounds. A melodious crescendo of rings crack at my dreamy awareness. My body is stiff. Aches echo throughout my concatenated flesh wrapped in sheets.
I long to stay in this soft, dreamy realm. My arm autonomously slides from under the covers and gropes through knots of bedsheets until I finds the ringing phone and smashes buttons until snooze it achieved.
I doze off again.
I repeat this every 5-10 minutes for next one to two hours.
Reluctantly, I open my eyes, and begin the daily ritual of combing through my notifications. Text messages first. Mostly from group chat friends in other time zones. Followed by app notifications, and lastly emails, where a daily digest of yesterday’s news waits for me. Sometimes I check a twitter feed.
Then I repeat this process with my work phone, but for emails and texts.
This ritual lasts anywhere from thirty minutes to an hour, or longer.
I pull my feet over the sides of my side, and sit up, burying my face in my hands, running my hands over my scalp, through my hair, and squeezing, massaging, gripping my skull, as if I was getting a grip on reality itself.
I breath and walk into the bathroom where I turn on the shower, and weigh myself. 204lbs. I note that I’m down a pound, but remind myself that I ate once yesterday. Down from 213lbs three months ago, at least.
I look in the mirror. I haven’t been exercising. I need to shave my dark body hair, which contrasts with my blonde hair and blue eyes.
I step into the shower, and meditate, lose track of time, rubbing myself in body wash. After my soul thaws under the steamy stream of water, I exit and proceed to dress, first underwear, then dress slacks, then socks, then my button-down shirt. It’s a bit too large on me since I stopped bodybuilding, so I perform a military tuck into my pants to ensure a fitted look.
I grab my work bag, make sure all the necessary papers and catalogs and digital electronics are presently inside, zip it up, and walk out the door, making sure to lock as I exit.
I throw my bag and jacket in the back seat, and enter my black Audi Q5. It’s in immaculate condition, the way I like it.
I drive down the street to Doc’s Bagels, the local deli shop run by two Mexican and Thai families, and order a sausage, egg, and cheese with avocado on an everything bagel, toasted. I eat the bagel, slowly savoring the brilliant combination of sharp and savory flavors, and sip my 20oz mixed columbian, hazelnut, french vanilla blend coffee, while seated at a small table nested in a nook along the covered breezeway lining the shops.
I continue to drive 30 minutes to work, listening to books on tape (“Essentialism”), but constantly pause or back up 30 seconds due to a lapse in my attention, with my thoughts drifting elsewhere, to work, to personal complexes, to random associations my mind is making with the author’s trendy advice that I remind myself is recycled and repackaged wisdom of the ages.
At work I find a cubicle and pull out my Microsoft Surface Pro PC and plug in my power adapter. I sip my coffee and follow up with emails for the next three to eight hours. The time in 9:30am. I work though email responses, to colleagues and customers. Eventually I work my way to a lead list of companies I’m targeting, and begin drafting emails. I pick up the phone whenever I have a phone number for a contact, but I rarely get through. Ten percent of my emails get a response. Not bad. It takes about thirty seconds to a minute to write a semi-custom email. I work off templates I made for biotech, semiconductor, or a general template for automation technology.
I usually skip lunch. A colleague finds his way to my desk. We talk, and decide to step into a conference so we can write on a whiteboard and put presentations on a TV. An hour later I go back to my desk.
It’s 4:30pm. I continue working.
It’s 5:30pm. My girlfriend is asking if I’ll be up to the city to see her tonight, and if so what time, and if I should pick her up from the ballet, or if she should just go home). I tell her I have work and errands to do, and won’t be coming to the city.
It’s now 6:30pm. I decide to wrap up and go home.
Driving home it’s still light. The traffic has died down; no longer stop and go. Its 7:13pm. Only 18 minutes until I’m home. I listen to the book on tape.
I stop and pick up some groceries.
I make dinner: 12 ounces of salt and peppered rib eye steak with garlic, a half an avocado, and a seltzer water. Followed by beer.
My girlfriend Facetimes me. It’s 9:00pm. She’d icing her feet (she’s a professional ballet dancer). She misses me, and asks what I’m doing. I’m in my room, on my computer, researching Arduino and Raspberry Pi projects and learning the programming code, and schematics. While also researching night classes. I signed up for three at Stanford University. One on Data Science and business, one on Artificial intelligence technology and human advancement, and the other a creative writing class focusing on turning personal stories into fiction. They’re between five and ten week classes.
I get ready for bed, brush my teeth and tidy up the apartment and my room, putting clothes in the hamper, organize my desk, and slip into bed. Turn on my reading light and ask Alexa to turn off the remaining lights.
Tonight I pick up Karl Ove Knausgaard’s book “My Struggle: Book 1” and reflect on this Norwegian man’s childhood experiences, his fascination with death, the frictional relationship he’s had with his father. My eyes grow heavy and I doze off, only to snap back awake. I dog ear the page, and turn off the reading light. I look at my phone and see my girlfriend’s text messages wishing me sweet dreams. I tell her to sleep well and sweet dreams, and leave several kisses faces and hearts and moons.
The days repeat in similar fashion, for months on end.