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Wee Hours

8 February, 2011 (15:02) | Growing Up

Limerick, Ireland in the Wee Hours by Axel Buhrmann
Limerick, Ireland in the Wee Hours by Axel Buhrmann.

I wonder if I’d have noticed had I not already been awake for hours.

There, scrawled in the dusty grime of the bus window sat two lines of text. At first, I didn’t bother give it much thought. As I stared out the window watching the sun climb over the horizon, my eyes kept drifting back to the strange scratches in the muck.

It took me a few moments to realize that it was written backwards.  Perhaps it was written on the outside. To be that clearly legible on the side of a bus window, it might have to be.

I relaxed back into my music, easing my way to work, mind flowing randomly. Still, on the edge of my vision and consciousness, the text nagged. I glanced back down and glared at it, carefully parsing its lettering.

“Praeparat,” it read. What the hell? Is that Latin?

My attention was full. I began at the start and read the five words again, slowly translating each. “Qui Desidererat [sic] Pacem, Praeparat Bellum.” Who wants peace, prepare for war.

It was missing a word: igitur. Perhaps the lighter shade of window above was simply not grimy enough to allow the silhouette to show through, or maybe it was just too high to reach. Then again, the meaning was still there.

I spent the remainder of the ride considering the possibility of bus grime as a venue for public political discourse, as well as the intelligence of expecting a majority or even a minority of bus riders to be able to parse backwards quotes in Latin from Vegetius’s Epitoma Rei Militaris.

I seem to have too much time on my hands.

Last night, with no plans and no desire for plans, I watched an episode of Community, a TV show I thoroughly enjoy, and found myself restless. I spent some time working my way through the award winning game Machinarium, finishing in a little under three hours including breaks. I cleaned my room some more, fiddled with my bass, read a couple articles, and wrote a bit, and yet, nothing sated my restlessness.

I have stacks of books and video games growing dusty. My television, when it’s on, shows reruns for background noise, local news for background noise, or, occasionally, movies or TV shows, mainly for background noise. My computer has ceased to be a destination, instead becoming a conduit for the internet and ideas, StumbleUpon its main function.

All of my hobbies, all of my time-fillers, have grown unfulfilling. My mind wanders aimlessly, skittishly jumping from topic to topic, activity to activity. My body twitches and aches and I find myself stretching just to appease its unspoken needs.

Perhaps this is the birth of a new era of introspective philosophy for me, delving into the depths of my psyche in search of internal coherence and happiness. Or perhaps it’s the start of my slow descent into madness (which is assuming, of course, I’m not insane already).

Regardless, now that my lifestyle has adjusted itself, I need to readjust my hobbies and habits to match.

“Now place your hand flat against the ground behind your left leg,” the voice instructs. “Extend your left buttock to bring yourself into alignment and reach your right arm up above you.”

As I stretch into another uncomfortable position, I collapse backward, narrowly missing the table.

“Breath out and feel the calm of the stretch.”

Annoyed, I slap the space bar on my machine, stopping the instruction.

I’ve had a perverse interest in trying Yoga for quite some time, but my paranoia gets the better of me. As a large out of shape male (in appearance; in actuality, I’m in surprisingly great shape), there’s plenty of social stigmas to overcome in a gym style setting.

Most heinously is the assumption that I’d be there to pick up women rather than for my own benefit. Even at CU’s gym in college I got nasty glares from female patrons simply for walking through the halls. Some, I’m sure, were imagined, but some were clearly not. The fact that I’m a big guy doesn’t help, as only the blind avoid jumping to conclusions based solely on appearance.

A yoga class, where I’m in a minority, where my inflexibility is on display, and where my comfort in my own body is stretched to the limit, is the last place I want to experience that sort of judgment.

I wait for the call of “Are you alright?” My roommates, thankfully are still sound asleep despite the thump on the floor.

Since yoga classes weren’t about to happen, my paranoia preventing my trying without codependency to overcome it, I downloaded a collection of videos. Now, in the small hours of the morning, beneath the darkness of night, behind closed doors, and hidden away from the world, I’m bending my body awkwardly and attempting to mimic the movements on the screen.

I glance at the clock. 5:10 blinks precariously at me. I’ve already been awake for over an hour.

It’s amazing how much I can accomplish in the morning. That assumes I actually have a to do list already. Certainly, I have my writing to work on, things to read, and plenty of chores to do, but doing anything without bothering my roommates (or, at the very least, being concerned I’ll bother them) is impossible.

Just last week, I repaired a chair, hammering in nails at five in the morn. In the process, I woke one of my roommates, who reminded me that hammering something meant pounding the floor (i.e. his ceiling). I felt like a douche.

The video lurches back to life as I press the spacebar anew. I’ll spend another 15 minutes yoging before I eventually give up and take a shower.

For now, I’m filling my time with oddities and novelties. Who knows, however, which ones will become normalcies and which will be left by the wayside.



  • Rebekah

    “as only the blind avoid jumping to conclusions based solely on appearance” Fantastic!!