“Begin the day with a friendly voice, a companion unobtrusive.” – Rush
You may still have your face in the remaining scraps of some dive bar Bolivian Marching Powder, you may be sneaking out of some random persons apartment, you may simply be enjoying (or arguing) about whatever had happened hours before. Maybe you’re on the road to another gig. By and large, Rock & Roll is not known to be a morning man’s game, and yet it is totally a morning, afternoon and evening game. And as we creep into maturity and adulthood, at whatever age that takes place, it is important to remember the very soul of Rock & Roll is independence. Are we ever more independent than in the morning? At that moment we arise, we are alone with our thoughts. They have not been warped or influenced by the irritants of the modern age, children, significant others, etc.
Admittedly, I’ve never been much of a morning person. Frankly I hate ’em. But as I was laying next to my ladyfriend this morning it dawned on me how much I like them now. Oh, I’ll be honest, I do NOT love them. I don’t want to run sprints or want to jump right outta bed and greet the morning with a grin, no, that is not me. What I do like about the mornings is the calm. The calm quiet in my head, the calm quiet of my neighborhood, the calm quiet of my cat’s purr. The calm look on my ladyfriends face. It’s peaceful. I can hold my ladyfriend and enjoy her for all she is. The peace of the morning reaches its apogee as you make love. Morning sex is seldom the kind of mind blowing, jungle swinging, flip floppy sex that takes place between the hours of 12-3am, it’s a more peaceful kind of connective love making.
As you lay there with your arm around them, you wonder what the day holds for you. But as you lay there, or is it lie there, I could never figure that out…you lay there wondering what the fuck is gonna get thrown at you that may piss you off. This very person you hold in your arms could say or do something to rub you the wrong way, even if it is nothing at all. It could be your trip into work is less than fun, be it automobile or mass transit. You could walk into work and there is a nasty email from some person of a different pay grade denigrating you. The point is, at that post coital morning moment, it’s the most peaceful, clear and independent you will be all day.
The beauty of the morning is you are not yet flooded with the banalities of the day. And, I know, I know…”Keith, you have to find the beauty in the banality.” No, I don’t. You feel free to do that. I don’t want to find the beauty in the young couple extolling the glory of the last episode of “Glee” (by all accounts, a great show, but I’ve no interest), I don’t want to find the beauty in listening to someone proclaim “DON’T TELL ME what happened on the new Jim Belushi show, I am sooo far behind on my TV.” Which to me is one of the most ridiculous things one can say. You can’t be “behind” on TV. It’s TV, there are re-runs…and frankly, the plots are really not that complicated. “Oh yea Keith, what about ‘Lost’ or ‘The Event’?” Shut…the…fuckup. It’s TV NOT Tolstoy. Now get ready for the big leap here, I don’t want to see beauty in how my fair city has taken it upon themselves to raise my transit card 17% while offering discounts, DISCOUNTS, to people who drive. Yep drive. Carbon footprints and fossil fuel concerns are no problem for us here in NYC. Nope. In particular, the people who benefit the most from this are the fine citizens of Staten Island, which coincidentally enough, happen to be the wealthiest of Manhattan’s outer boroughs. I am tempted to write to the MTA and ask if they could somehow find a way to work out a cooperative crossover deal with J&J where all of us monthly subscribers get a complimentary bottle of K-Y Lubricant. J&J may be a bit of a stretch, maybe the folks at Astroglide may be more receptive.
In the morning you are free to be yourself. And what is more Rock & Roll than being just who you are? That independent spirit. You have yet to run into your boss (presuming you are not sleeping with them) who will invariably be a source of frustration for you. This is true across the spectrum of employment. I mean, we’ve all had shitty bosses, great bosses, mediocre bosses, but the one constant is they all drive their subordinates crazy. I don’t know what can be said about bosses that doesn’t sound negative or derogatory. The truth is they don’t all suck. The truth is they are, more often than not, intelligent. But how much of themselves did they sacrifice to get there? How much of that morning clarity are they truly allowed to enjoy? How soon after their eyes open are they thinking about their day? How soon are they checking their Blackberry? The Rock & Roll spirit allows you to take those moments in the morning and hold on to them as long as possible. Those of us who DO serve somebody maybe hold on to that morning vibe as long as possible. You’ll probably never see us as the CEO of a multi-national organization, but then you’ll probably never see us sleep with a Blackberry next to our bed either.
Yes, I know I know, when we are serving somebody, we are struggling to get to another pay grade and it’s made a lot easier when you roll over and check your Blackberry as opposed to rolling over and grabbing your lover, husband or wife. And truthfully, what brings you more happiness? If it’s your Blackberry then you have the wrong partner. You have to play a game for sure and you have to serve somebody, but the somebody should always be you first. Rock & Roll is about being yourself and the first thing in the morning is the best time to do that.
Nothing is more Rock & Roll than being in love as we have previously discussed. And you lay there holding your lover delaying the inevitable time of departure. But you begin the process. You get up and get going with the day. And then at some point in the day you get the e-mail from your lover. The ridiculous request for Couscous for dinner which immediately gets your ire up, mostly because you don’t know what it is, which in turn gets her hair up for the very same reason, because you don’t know what it is. Then comes the rapid succession of escalating emails highlighting each others faults and idiosyncratic behavior. Then you wonder why the hell you are even with this person. You stew and chew on it for a few hours mulling over whether Bono or Keith Richards have these sorts of discussions. You immediately come to the conclusion that they must. We’re all human and we all do the same stupid shit. Albeit Bono probably knows what Couscous is. I don’t feel comfortable saying the same about Keith Richards. Nonetheless, you concluded that they must. Everyone must have these sorts of disagreements and silly arguments. It’s human nature. It doesn’t mean you love the other person any less, it doesn’t mean you are not compatible, it simply means you don’t know what Couscous is and she is pissed you don’t know. So, you write the apology email (that you know she is expecting) and say of course you will pick up the Couscous but you can’t refuse and you ask her if it is in the rice or pasta isle. She replies with the obligatory “ha. ha” but then proceeds to tell you it is a pasta. She also suggests that maybe tomorrow’s dinner can be the burgers you were craving. Peace has been restored and all’s well again.
Every day we can start to look at what is in front of us any way we choose to. It’s best not to be doing it face down in the remnants of dive bar blow. It’s better to not be sneaking out of some strangers apartment. That is the beauty of the morning. The calm. That is the clarity. The independence and control. “How do I want this day to be?” You will never be as lucid and as clear as you are when you first wake. You are the very embodiment of independence at that moment. You are you. You are not weighed down by the days minor travesties, the days irritations, the days quarrels. You know they may come, but you can deal with them because you know what it is all about. Every day is a blessing. By no means does it guarantee every day will be blessed.
If you believe Rock & Roll to be a religion, then the morning is its Eucharist.