It is almost spring. I know this because I can smell the rivers that border New York, fishy and briny and coming alive again.

Also because an intensely bright light falls across my bed between the hours of eight and nine in the morning. I think my first floor window is aligned with the sun in such a way that it only receives direct light between early March and late September. During the winter the sun’s low angle with respect to the Northern Hemisphere must make it impossible for direct rays to enter my bedroom. But the other day I noticed that the sun was beginning to function as an alarm clock, a device I do not use. Alarms are alarming and stun you into forgetting your dreams.

I was waking up abruptly each morning in what should be the middle of my night and then often falling into a deep, gripping sleep that was harder to shake off at noon. In the summer this is my preferred schedule, since the dusk, dawn and dead of summer nights are my favorites and we now know the midday sun only makes you old before your time. But in the final week of winter, awakening temporarily at eight will not do. I am still hibernating.

Still, each day the sun peers over whatever blocks it in the winter months with a little more confidence in its glare. It’s like an assassin, slowly moving into position to send a message job through my right eye.

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