Pedro Ávila

It has been several weeks since I’ve had a good night’s sleep. But this week was the bottom rung of that ladder, for sure. I was still jet lagged on Monday morning, and to make matters worse, we’ve made the jump into daylight savings time. Now it’s getting dark at around 9:30 in the fucking pm. That screws with me and makes me miss the window. Now it’s been 5 days straight of going to bed at 4:30 in the morning and having to wake up at 7:30 or 8.

I fail miserably at it, of course, hitting the alarm clock with fervor and confusion after 8 snoozes, wondering why on Earth anything would want to make noise at that time, whatever it was. Once I shower and read the papers though, I’m usually good until about 11 in the morning when I get hungry. Then I eat to ward off the pains in my stomach and after lunch I get hit by 20 or so semi-trucks and collapse in my car, away from the office for about 45 minutes. If I can, I go home for a 2 hour nap and then feel exhausted and worthless for the rest of the day. The process repeats itself when I start writing at 8 at night and only stop when I realize it’s 3 am and I didn’t see the time go by.

A week of this. My god.

What the hell ever happened to that boy that loved nothing better than to beat the alarm clock, to wake up quick and fresh 2 minutes before whatever time he set? A fast run and a quick cold shower, followed by fresh eggs, strong coffee and lots of fruit? And by the time he hit the streets it was still before anyone else, it was still that part of the morning when the day has just started drawing its first breath and seems to be holding the oxygen in for a little bit; it hasn’t even exhaled yet.

In my cold apartment in Amsterdam, I sit at my vinyl chair and remember those mornings and all the excitement they held. Every thought in my head then was part of a to-do list that I would tackle in due time. I would walk the crisp streets on my way back from exploring a new side of the city, expecting that something would happen at the next corner, or somewhere along the next street. I would breathe and imagine the coming day in my head, conquering and defeating, dodging anything in my way and firmly holding on to the notion that when all was said and done I would be leaning back in a chair sometime in the early evening, a hand resting behind my head and sipping a beer with a list covered in check marks in my back pocket.

But waves of distraction, lack of discipline, some Beatles song stuck in my head and the ever-elusive purpose of this thing always takes me straight to the early afternoon, when the dreaminess has subsided, the rain clouds have moved in over the gray city and all hope for success has been abandoned. I start a new list for tomorrow and hang on while today blows past.

This is no way to live.

And now it’s 1 the fuck 30 in the morning and after two hours of warm milk, 2 boring-ass biology text books, 130 happy bubbling sheep and enough wine and ibuprofen to give a hobo the shakes, I’m reduced to posting again. Why?


Pedro Ávila Pedro Ávila

For a reasonably sane & productive member of society (arguable, but let’s not complicate things), I’m far too mobile and unrooted. I travel quite a bit for a job that is simultaneously my greatest privilege and my worst burden.

So I write. And I write. Travel pieces, political journalism (a stretch from ranting but, still), short stories, poetry and other such riff-raff. I contribute to a handful of publications and will probably just keep going until something gives out, or someone gives in.


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