4:14 glowers at me from across the room.
This isn't working.
Not going to fall back to sleep am I?
Feet hit the floor, grab the socks.
Even Rack doesn't believe I'm up at Insane O'Clock. He barely looks up at me through the predawn glow.
I pad to the bathroom with my way lit by dozens of little Power On LEDs on various clocks and power conditioners.
Take care of business. It's now 4:45. May as well get started.
I walk out of the bedroom and say "Hello Oscar". Rack is still laying in his dog bed. Oscar thinks I'm insane and tells me so.
Just what I need, social commentary from a bird. "Ok, Oscar, Good morning."
I think Raspberries, I haven't had them in ages...
I get Rack's food and water set up for him and try to get him to eat. He finally sticks a black nose around the corner. Slowly moves over to the bowl, gives it a single sniff and walks to the front door.
"Hey, I'm over here."
I get Rack dressed and we walk outside. Chilly morning. Should be, I'm up and walking the dog a solid hour earlier than normal. It isn't yet 5AM. I bet the people I see won't be all that ... normal. Even the gym is closed.
We stop and sniff. And Sniff. And Sniff. Every. Single. Step. It seems we're in a sniffy mood but nothing really happens.
The nice thing is that it's quiet. I mean quiet in a way that it rarely is in South Florida. I'm just about in the middle of the sprawl of the city and there's nothing going on. I hear a van approaching. It is approaching for so long that I realize I was hearing it before it was even in town.
The van passes, we get out to The Drive. The parking lot was unproductive.
The pavement is wet from misdirected irrigation systems. The sprinkler heads are pointed in strange angles. I'm That Guy who walks past a sprinkler that is pointing strangely and re-aims it to do some good. Besides, watering concrete won't help anyone.
We make it to the middle of the walk before Rack finally wakes up enough to do what he needs to.
Still silent, the closing of the trash can actually echos off the big apartment building towards our rear.
It is our city. Mine and the dog's. Walking down the middle of the street with nothing to worry us. Even that strange barky rottweiler in the house on the corner is sleeping when we walk past.
Really, hair trigger dogs need training. Shaddap dog!
I spot an approaching car far enough off that we manage to get to the side of the street well before we need to and wave. It's an unknown officer from our PD - you can't see who it is in this darkness and I suspect that is how they like it. It wouldn't be the first day I see a cop at well before 6 AM in town, I expect them.
The one thing I realize is that all this is going much faster than usual. The next walk in a bit more than 12 hours will be the 5PM walk. Same distance could take as long as an hour. Every dog in the neighborhood is out watering the park at 5:25 PM. At 5:25AM you have the city to yourself.
I'm so early that I realize I am back home sitting in my chair having had breakfast, sitting coffee, chair dancing to a Brit-pop RnB song played on BFBS that fades into their presenter giving weather forecasts for the British Forces around the world.
18C in Kandahar, 5C in Kabul, and 18C and sunny in Gib.
That's Gibraltar to us outsiders. Gib's chilly tonight, going down to 9C.
Dance Contest in Germany and a pick-up aerobics get together workout in the Falklands.
By the time the sun is up, I'm already getting restless. The dog has decided that he'll just finish his sleep. I'm deciding on a second cup of coffee.
Checking on email, my part for the computer is on its way, two different websites need attention, the newsletter for the month gets started, and I get a part for a project that will let me sell a computer in a couple weeks.
May as well just be productive if you're up at 4, you never know who you won't stumble into.