Yesterday morning I awoke to the sounds of a screamed obscenity.

It wasn't me, although it could have been and has been on many prior occasions.

Kurt and I are early risers. This is a new thing for me. In Palau Daniel usually peeled me from my bed about five seconds before it was time to leave for work (assuming he hadn't already woken me up by meowing and clawing at the window after his early morning run). Then I spent the hours of 8:00 to noon playing "I wonder if I could fall asleep on that" in my mind.

Moving back to the United States of God Bless America seems to have completely rebooted my sleep schedule because now I seriously cannot get up early enough in the morning. I LOVE it.

It was like my body was trying to find one more way to make me an 80 year old man. And it was all, "hmmm . . . let's see. He already yells at children. He already watches Matlock. I got it! Let's have him wake up at 5:00 AM for no reason at all!"

It started a couple of months ago when I realized that work was feeling a little overwhelming and intimidating and I figured that if I got into the office a few hours before anyone else showed up, this might take away some of the pressure and distraction and could allow me to focus a little better and get some work done. This was an effective plan. And even after getting the hang of things a bit, I found myself still doing the early morning thing.

For the record: "getting the hang of things a bit" does not mean that I have stopped screaming inside my head whenever anyone asks me to do anything. It just means that the screaming doesn't bother me as much anymore.

Most mornings I climb out of bed sometime between 5:00 and 5:30. And since I live literally a two-minute walk away from the office, this means I'm typically working well before 6:00 AM. On a couple of occasions I have gotten up even earlier, what some might call "the middle of the night," to get an extra early start on the day.

Mostly I like this because I feel like there's a community of early risers in this world that those of us who are or were not early risers never get to experience. And as I walk to work in the dark in the morning and pass all of the other mostly-not-very-cheerful people, I can't help but feel like I have friends.

Kurt, on the other hand, is an early riser by necessity. Being an ER nurse with the most inconvenient schedule ever, he has to be out the door long before most people. And it's a big deal if he doesn't show up on time.

If I don't show up to work early, people go on with their lives. And probably don't even notice that I'm not there. Except maybe they wonder why it doesn't smell as bad as usual.

If Kurt shows up late to the hospital, PEOPLE DIE. I like to imagine his job is a lot like that thing from Lost where those people had to keep typing in the numbers into that computer or else the world would explode.

Yesterday morning the world almost exploded. Because somehow Kurt slept through his alarm for about an hour and a half. And then he woke up and realized this.

And that's when I was awoken by an screamed obscenity.

Ten seconds later, he was sprinting through the front door, leaving a trail of personal belongings behind him.

All I know is that based on what I saw in that moment, Kurt might be one of those aliens from Signs that ran over the top of Mel Gibson's house. Remind me to check and make sure he still has all of his fingers later.

~It Just Gets Stranger