My life as a morning zombie

Waking up mid-winter isn't always easy on Haida Gwaii.

Winter makes Chris a real tired cat.

Winter makes Chris a real tired cat.

It’s 6:30 in the morning. My alarm goes off. I hit snooze. Ten minutes later, I hit snooze again. I do this five times in a row so that it’s now 7:20 a.m. and I’m more tired than I was at 6:30.

I get up, stumble into the kitchen to make some coffee. I spill the ground coffee all over the floor. My cat is meowing at the window so I let him in. He’s hungry and annoying so I get him some food. I spill his food all over the floor but he eats it anyway.

I’m half asleep but I’m late for work so I put on my clothes. My shirt is inside-out but I won’t notice until lunch. I put my socks on and the right one has a big hole in it at the toe. It feels horrible in my shoes, but I’m too tired to do anything about it. I glance at the clock. 7:45 a.m. Too late to make coffee.

It’s still dark out. I feel like the world is always dark. The day is hiding from me. It’s been hiding from me for weeks now. I can’t remember what the sun looks like. In a rush to get to work I break a shoelace. I walk out to my van to warm it up. The door handle breaks and I have to go in through the passenger side. There’s ice and I slip, muddying my pants.

I have no other pants, so I go inside and wipe them off with a towel. It’s dark and I don’t notice that the towel is dirty, used the night before to clean up a ketchup spill. I am now covered in ketchup and mud, but I’m too tired to care. I hope no one will notice. I collect the coffee grounds off the floor, put them in my cup and add hot water from the tap. I hope it tastes all right it tastes worse than anything I have ever tasted.

I get into the van and catch the cup on the steering wheel. I spill the horrible coffee all over my shirt. I don’t care. Maybe no one will notice. I look in the rearview mirror. I have a huge zit on my nose. It hurts. I look for a Band Aid to put on it but all I have is duct tape. I duct-tape the zit. I think this is a good idea because I’m too tired to think straight.

I pull out of the driveway and the van shudders as I give it gas. It rumbles down the highway like a lame horse. I have no choice. No turning back. Must keep going. Too much to do. Eventually I get to work. I am covered in ketchup, mud and coffee grounds and I have a broken shoelace and a big piece of duct tape on my face right next to a huge zit on my nose. I get to work.

Someone mentions that my shirt is inside-out and I stare coldly at them for a few seconds, trying to figure out who is is talking to me. I sit at my computer and let the friendly glow of the screen warm me. Eventually the blurriness leaves and I can make out images on the screen.

“I’m going to be okay,” I think. “I can get through this,” I tell myself.

“It’s just a bit of winter. That’s all. Four months. That’s all. Just four more months.”

I go out for lunch and notice that my shirt is still inside-out. Without leaving the table, I take it off and turn it right-side in and dip french fries into the ketchup in the fold of my jeans. I love ketchup.