Write a post entirely in the present tense.
There’s a siren blaring, and I’m moving from one to place to another in the hopes of avoiding the annoying noise. It doesn’t work. Slowly I realize that it isn’t a siren, it’s the cat. My sense of place fades; now I have only the faint remembrance of having been somewhere and done something. I emerge from sleep realizing that the cat is sitting on my chest and meowing in an insistent tone, pushing her paw against my chin over and over again.
I’m irritated at her; there’s still more time to sleep, and I’m tired. I turn around and open my eyes just enough to see the clock to check how much more time I can sleep. The clock is blinking a steady “6:37” at me, and I come fully awake realizing I should have been up 20 minutes ago. Instead of pushing the cat off the bed, I give her a quick pat and cuddle for waking me up. Then I turn on the TV and get up.
Once out of bed I take a fast shower and get dressed. There is no need to check the weather; it has been cold all week. Double-digits below zero cold, the kind of cold where frostbite can happen in 10 minutes. I put on a pair of tights, trousers, a long-sleeved turtleneck, and top the outfit off with a heavy sweater. I don’t give a shit about fashion; I just want to stay warm.
Downstairs, I turn on the coffee maker and then turn to the most important matter of the morning, the cat’s food bowl. She’s old and mostly toothless, so the wet food she now eats gets crusty and hard sitting overnight. I empty out the uneaten remnants of yesterday’s food and open a new can while she dances around my feet uttering sharp little meows of excitement and impatience. When she’s comfortably ensconced before filled food and water bowls, I grab an empty cup and add a half-package of hot chocolate mix, and then pour in the freshly made coffee on top. Add a shot of half and half, stir well and I’ve got what I need.
Coffee in hand, I wander over to the dining room table, open the laptop and check my emails. As expected, there is nothing in my in-basket but spam and ads. I sip coffee and idly wonder when email stopped being personal and started being junk. Picking up the remote, I turn on MSNBC to check on the pundit’s review of last night’s State of Union address.
As I’m checking Facebook, sipping coffee, and half listening to the TV, I realize that the reason I no longer get any real emails is that FB has become the personal messaging area of the internet. I read and respond to messages, post a few “likes” and leave a comment, and then move on to other web sites.
It’s now 7:15, and I have 15 minutes left before I have to leave for work. I play a few games I like, check the front pages of the New York Times and my local paper, peruse Huffington Post & CNN. Of course, I have to check WordPress to see if any the bloggers I follow have added new posts overnight; one has. I read her post, add a comment, and then look at my stats. Nothing much going on, and a glance up at the upper right-hand corner of my laptop shows that the time is now 7:28, time to put the computer to sleep.
I go into the bathroom to check my hair, and then realize how pointless that is, because it’s going to get ruined under my hood. I take off my nice warm slippers and put on heavy winter boots. Next comes my coat, zipped all the way up. I pull the hood up and fasten the sides so the bottom half of my face is now covered. I put my purse over my shoulder, military style so I don’t have to adjust it while I’m walking, and then wind a long, warm scarf around my face and neck. There is now nothing visible of my face but a 2” wide slit for my eyes, bordered on the top and sides by my hood and on the bottom by my scarf.
It’s go time now. I walk out the door and lock it shut, putting the keys away into my purse, then down the stairs. At the front door, I verify that I still have my keys, slide on my gloves, open the door and walk out. I’m immediately hit with a blast of cold air. I walk down the steps and turn left, knowing I have a 15 minute walk ahead of me.
My day has begun.