The newspaper column ritual

I lay flat on my back looking at the ceiling for a message from some unknown minuscule messenger; possibly hiding in the corners where the walls meet the ceiling.

The sun begins to rise, whether, like this morning in particular, I can see it or not. I know these specific mornings so well, I have ritualized them enough, that they have begun to take on a life of their own.

The movements, at least, are known; my body rises on its own accord and begins to carry my mind through the specific actions, relieving my mind of duties so it can focus on the hunt for a topic, a theme; a brush up against someone new in the coffee shop line that leaves you full of words unspoken, a tossed newspaper with the headline peeking out, a burning cumulative wrong that jumps onto your computer screen once identified and separated from all the other burning cumulative wrongs waiting in the enormous line.

Twice a week I awake, or perhaps I’ve never really fully slept, with full knowledge that this morning (deadline 11 a.m.) will be consumed with furious writing. No matter what, media cannot wait.

Because another idea, another thought, another phrase that leave some gasping, others fawning, some bored and annoyed – regardless, the march of these ideas pulse on, leaving you and not even with a second glance.

There will always be another word to replace your crafted few.

So I awaken, knowing that what is written in this morning will have a brief, rare second life in printed form, like turning in your seat to get one last contorted glance at a passing landmark.

My column, demands to be written, and so it goes.

There are many assistants; I would never be so naive to believe I could tread into such a place alone. For example, the early morning ritual proceeds in much more orderly fashion once coffee is consumed.

Caffeine manifests the emotionally stabilizing factor and the speed in the various hyperintellectualized trajectories – God love this drug.

I hunker into bed after returning with my warm, brown medication. The laptop is warm and seemingly friendly. It is humming and clicking some timeless and indistinguishable language. I take a breath and begin.

The aforementioned trajectories drain away and I am left poised at the edge of this very word you are reading.

Somehow the ritual decides the course. I am left to follow, like a patient at a possession; chasing three words behind and never actually catching up, but somberly pulling away at 10:55 a.m. (in one minute and counting).

I spell check, the least mystical of all the morning events, as you can imagine. I read the last line. I cannot help but glance back.

Then I breathe again and send it away through my telephone, transformed briefly into another language. I cannot help but to utter my last incantation; I wish it the best of luck when it is retranslated.

The sacrament has ended. I arise out of bed once again, dress and exit into the vocalized world.