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A Cup of Coffee and a Good Book
“You’re crazy for waking up early when there’s no school”, they said.
“Why don’t you get out of the house, get a life?” they ask.
“That sounds so boring and dull”, they said.
And I smile. They can critique all they want, but it won’t make a difference. They’ve never tried it. They don’t know it. They’ve never felt the peace, the quiet, the serenity. They’ve never felt the excitement, the drama, the passion. They’ve never known the long, satisfying hours spent as the sun is just barely rising on December 28th, right smack in the middle of winter break. They don’t know the pure pleasure of my happy place.
The simple, peaceful, joy that is an early morning spent on my bed, with a cup of coffee and a good book.
I like to wake up early every once in a while when there’s no school. There’s something about having so much daylight to look forward to that I simply love. My family is often awake by then, but they don’t bother me. It’s too early for me to get caught up in chatting on Facebook or Skype, which is an enjoyable activity in itself but not for a full day venture. Around noon is when I typically leave the world of fantasy, whether that world be made of books when I wake up early or dreams when I wake up late. Reality is a fine place to be, I suppose, but the world of dreams and imagination and magical impossibilities is a place that everyone ought to take some time to visit, if only occasionally.
There’s something about a good book that makes coffee taste better. When you’re so deep inside your own mind, you can truly taste all of what the beverage has to offer. It’s easier to take in the rich, warm undertones, and appreciate the bitter black overtones. Coffee in turn also makes a good book so much better. The caffeine wakes up the brain, puts every nerve on high alert. You find yourself paying more attention to every detail, picking up on all the subtle messages, absorbing more of the storyline. You find yourself jumping even more at the surprising bits, feeling an even larger rush when reading the suspenseful bits, your heart beating even faster when it turns to action and excitement. Coffee makes your brain sharper and more sensitive, far less dull and oblivious. The experience is by far enhanced with a dose of caffeine.
There’s something about early morning on an empty day that makes a good book better. The sleepiness of night is being rapidly erased, but the chaos of daytime has not yet begun. Between 7 AM and 12 PM on a Saturday, things are peaceful. No one is barging into your room asking for things, or frantically Skyping you. Your mind need not be filled up with things yet, and so you can take in the book to the fullest. It’s like painting with watercolors: the art turns out far better and clearer on a blank white canvas than one that has been tie-dyed. During a typical school day, I manage to read about 50 total pages of a book, usually on bus rides, during slow class periods, and late at night in between instant messages. During a typical early morning, I can read 150-200 pages before lunch. There is nothing to distract you, to turn you away from your story.
Some people say that early morning with coffee is the best time to write. I wholeheartedly disagree. You cannot write a proper story from a blank slate; you need thoughts and mental activity to base it off of. Unless you are writing based on a dream or continuing a story that you’ve already started, early morning is often the most frustrating time to write. Unique and innovative ideas and speculations are often unavailable so early in the day. A slow afternoon after a long, busy day is, in actually, one of the best times to write. You have most of the peace and quiet necessary for concentration, but you have fresh experiences to mull over and think about and shape into a story.
The sound of keys clacking on a keyboard is, I think, the best way to wind down in late afternoon. The sound of pages turning and coffee slurping is, without question, the best way to turn on your brain in early morning.
A good book, a cup of coffee, and an early morning.