At four in the morning, I am walking through a painting of a city, floodlights driving away the shadows where danger might lurk and casting everything into a two-dimensional relief. I move; nothing else moves. It is still, silent, and I am afraid even to speak. How can a city so vast and populated seem to hang so delicately in the night?
I never hurry in the mornings, no matter how much or how little time I have. It takes me ten minutes to get from my car to the OR, ten minutes of measured steps in the silence and the darkness, not the businesslike, hurried, purposeful strides inside the hospital. It takes me ten minutes of letting the night sink into my bones and cool my blood, carry away the haze of sleep from the hours before. It is slow, it is subtle, it keeps me going through the first hours, until the sun first brightens then hues the sky, bringing with it the reminder that all things must wake, and dream, and die.