What 5:30 AM Looks Like

8 Feb

Boston.

Stay in the city for too long and you begin to see all of the cracks in the countertops and the quarters in the couch and the dirt in the bathroom corners.

This means you need to get out of the city.  Or wake up at 5:30 AM.

5:30 AM.

The streets are clear.  A little trash but no irritated Mass drivers.  No red lights (just lovely friendly the-sun-will-come-out-soon blinking yellow ones. You can bike down the middle of the lane if you want.

The delivery trucks are out.  The little Italian man is sitting in his lawn chair observing the unloading of the liquor store’s latest supply.  Even though it is 20 degrees out. Here is his little kingdom.

The smell of freshly baked bread.  Early morning noses are happy.  And early morning coffee drinkers, clutching their paper cups of speed, are beginning to bare those pearly caffeine whites in a grin.

Shop owners with aprons and brooms descend on their store fronts.  Brushing the detritus of the late evening crowd and the little icy snow crystals away from their entrances.

The runners rush towards the Charles en masse.  Long limbs encased in spandex, caps pulled firmly over ears and brows, all manner of gadgets (a GPS watch, a heart rate monitor, a water belt, an IPod) being clutched and cradled.

The Tootsie Roll factory being pumped full of the day’s chocolate-y syrup.  The workers are clean in their white uniforms.  Not smeared in sweets like they are by 10:30 AM when they take their cigarette breaks.  Yes, even chocolate workers need a nicotine fix.  Life is not a box of anything.

The city feels like a village.  It feels empty and personal and hopeful. At 5:30 AM. For those who get to see it.

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