I didn’t start out as a morning person, either professionally or personally. Like most people in their teens and twenties, I kept vampire hours, staying up until 2 or 3 A.M every night, sleeping until noon the next day. I was working as a waitress in a cocktail bar when that Human League song came out, and the hours suited me fine. It wasn’t until I went back to school that I discovered mornings. Then I was hired on as a traffic reporter at CKFM – The Sound of Our Toronto, and discovered early mornings. In fact, for a brief period, I was waitressing until midnight, getting up at 4:30 A.M. to go to work, then off to class in hopes of catching a nap after school. All fuelled by coffee, ambition and a lot of hair product (it was, after all, the eighties).
I still get up at 4:30 A.M., but now I quite like it. I use my phone as a flashlight to make my way through the dark house. I make coffee, feed the dogs, let them out, then shout/hiss/whisper at them to come back in. We’ve been doing this for years now: if I leave them outside, they start barking when I go upstairs, but when I try to get them back in, they stand at the end of the garden and stare at me like the madwoman I clearly appear to be.
I have about an hour before my first break in Montreal – the fastest hour of the day, because it’s barely enough time to figure out what’s going on, let alone find a (hopefully) funny take on things. Sometimes I have some notes I made the day before; usually not. Sometimes the bit writes itself: everything is absurd, people are nuts, the world is upside down. Other times, nothing. I got nothing. Life is a creative wasteland. I should have been an accountant.
But every morning, the sun comes up, often spectacularly. The house comes to life, coffee smells and shower steam wafting up the stairs. I connect with all the stations across the country, most frequently with the fellas at the Mighty Q. We talk, we argue, most of all we laugh. The morning flies by, the day falls into place. I wrap up around 11 A.M., just as the rest of the world is hitting its stride. With luck, I’ll catch a nap – if not, by dinnertime I will be face down in my soup. No matter. I got the worm.