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I don’t always wake up with the sun. But many mornings my body wakes with the sun. Between 6 and 7. When the world is not yet awake, and the cars on the street below are the only things of life. I can’t stay in bed when this happens. When the golden light of early morning comes through the cracks of my chocolate brown curtains and touches my cheeks and sleeping eyes.

When this happens and I am stirred from my bed with its burgundy sheets, I pour myself a big glass of cold diet coke from my outdated, energy-sucking fridge, into the oversized silver coffee mug that I never use for coffee.

I walk out our screen door with messy hair and boy’s boxers on. I go out onto my porch and I sit at our little plastic table, a luxury very few have in Manhattan apartments. I look toward the top of the church that’s just a block away, with its pointed steeple and medieval design, standing higher than the brownstones that surround it.


I just breathe.

I think about heartache in those times. Single or not I feel it. I think it’s because my soul has never been taken or given away.  I’ve been in love, or at least I think I have been in love. I’ve made the kind of passionate love that makes a woman cry. I’ve been held late in the night in the arms of a man who adored either me or the idea of me. I’ve been loved by a man who was also my best friend and ignored my intensely complex states of mind and terrible mood swings, a man who left me to fight for our country. I’ve been cared for by a man who was nothing like me but who made me like the person I saw reflected in his eyes. My heart aches deeply and terribly for all of them.

My heart aches for my family too. Everything they’ve been through and suffered over the last few years. My heart aches for everything that has been lost while drenched in that early morning light. I sip my caffeinated beverage and I feel alone, lost and yet somehow at the saddest peace.

And usually after a few minutes, exhausted by the sickness in my soul that I spend so much time pushing down and out of sight, I crawl back into my bed and wait for the alarm to sound that tells me the day is beginning.

and I listen to Bob Dylan