Another week of radio in the books, and another Saturday of being awake at 4am. Like my grandpa, I wake early, whether I want to or not.
So let's talk about that. Waking up early. Do you really get used to it? I suppose you can talk yourself into liking the early morning, the solitude, the clear thoughts, the jump on the day in the dark. You get your bad breath all to yourself. In the early morning, nobody judges you.
It is, of course, a little different later on. Listeners judge you all the time. Are you relevant? Funny? Got some good info, perspective, do you take the right callers? Is there such a thing as the right caller? In the quiet except for the click of the furnace starting or the occasional train in the distance, there is only you. Questions like these make sense.
In a way, the early morning dark is a lot like radio. You look at the wall or out the window and no one looks back, answers back. It is the solitude of one hand clapping.
Enough. Every morning. no matter how hard you try to convince yourself that you love the wee hours, you would rather sleep longer. There's this routine I go through in my head before truly waking up. First, I think about radio. Is there a big topic around? How's the weather? Who are my guests? What crap do I have to do after the show to keep the radio station rowboat from filling with too much water so I can continue to blab on the radio?
And then I think about sleeping more. Hit the snooze. Five minutes later, some more beeping. Snooze. Beeping. Snooze. Beeping.
Are you gonna get up or what? the wife finally asks.
Yeah, yeah, yeah.
I think of who I might call to do my show. And then I realize that I've set it up so that I have to go in every morning. There is no other option. Sure, I can find someone to sit for the morning, but I'd have to set that up ahead of time. It would have to be a mega emergency to find someone at four in the morning to go in and do the show.
So every morning, sick or hungover or exhausted or rested or energetic or restless, I get up and start getting ready. Sometimes I shower. Often I walk to the closet, sniff a shirt, put it on and away we go.
But I'm starting to wonder - does there come a time when you just don't want to wake this early anymore... or can't? Oldtimers who finally retire from the mill say it - I just don't want to wake up early anymore. I feel your pain, brother, I feel your pain.
Morning radio people and other early workers can no doubt relate to the fate of early morning rising. But I probably won't ever really address it on the air. It would sound like what it is - whining. And, really, once you turn on the mic at 530, you really don't have anything to whine about. You are home, and grateful.
It's just that it's a Saturday morning and after five radio shows and running a station all week, I just wish I could sleep at least until the dog wants to go out. Instead I'm up with you whining about being up with you, and that would make for some really bad radio. So forget I even said anything.