As most of you know, I keep odd hours; I awaken very early in the morning and go to bed early at night. I have often joked that I was born in the wrong time zone. That being said, what most of you don’t know is that I do not use an alarm clock, and never have. My body knows when it is time to awaken, and when I have important tasks at hand, my mind never goes fully asleep so that I won’t miss the needed morning hours of work.
Last night I went to sleep knowing that I had an “overnight” job due in that needed to be completed very early in the morning. I slept as peacefully as a mature man can. (Don’t you hate middle-of-the-night pee breaks?) My last interruption was about 2:30 am. As I climbed back in bed, I recalculated how much time I needed to finish the job and figured a 4:00 am arousal would be fine.
From the depths of a deep REM sleep at about 3:30, all hell broke loose. The dogs were barking and running through the house as if someone was here. I couldn’t imagine I had missed the driveway alarm, but in the fog of sudden consciousness, I was uncertain if I had or hadn't heard a sound out on the deck.
Trying to shake off the last of my sleep, I grabbed the secreted machete from its hiding spot and headed towards the front door. I threw on the outside lights to be sure there was no one standing in ambush as the dogs circled and barked at the unseen intruder. Seeing no obvious danger, I opened the door to meet an odoriferous affront equaled only by a sun-baked platter of rancid meat served with a generous nose of Pont L'Eveque cheese in the quaint surrounds of an uncleaned dog kennel.
Yes, one of our Carolinian Pole Cats (How did Shakespeare put it? “A skunk by any other name would smell as sweet.”) had traversed my property, and whether by merit of its defensive spray or its unrelenting residual fortification of odor, the trespasser had transformed the pleasant predawn mountain air into one of nature’s most offensive olfactory insults.
So how did your nose start the day: Perhaps some fragrant coffee (or tea) brewing, the aroma of an oven-fresh pastry, maybe the allure of bacon frying? I still haven’t eaten anything, and yes, like the BO left in Jerry Seinfeld’s BMW by the unbathed valet attendant, the morning visit still lingers in the air.