The Shitty that Never Sleep


A lot of people speak highly of the “positive effects” of being an early riser. Pop culture presents us images of singing bluebirds and bright sunrises, and lauds those that rise later as lazy bums, generally unemployed, and making jokes about bong water.

If you believe this picture, catch a subway train before 8am on a weekday. If the early birds are catching the worms, they must taste awful bad.

It is silent. Eerily cold. There is narry a smile to be caught. Many sets of eyes are closed.

A girl dozes off too much and starts to slide onto the shoulder of another young woman beside her. As her head barely brushes her shoulder, the young woman darts it up, banging the other’s head and then blames HER for falling asleep.

A standing man is jolted a little sideways as we stop at a station and brushes the leg of a woman sitting sleeping. She wakes and hisses at him wide-eyed and wild, like a feral cat in a fight over roadkill.

One odd pen moves frantically over a page – obviously work promised to someone “first thing”. As the stops count down the pen speeds up and the pages flip more frantically. A few single eyes open to check the source of the ruckus. The paper flipper meets their glance and tries to signal apology with a smile. The eyes close very slowly, accompanied I am sure (if only I was in ear shot) with a grumble.

The tension is such that I am not sure it could be cut with the proverbial knife. But thankfully my stop has arrived. I have never been so glad to escape to the big, dirty, crowded, rude city streets.

Tomorrow I go back to sleeping in. Let these cranky shits have their damned worms.

— Irish

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