Hi! It's R. Eric Thomas. From the internet?
Why do I keep fronting like I'm a morning person? Why am I lying on myself like this? Why do I keep playing on God's phone with this nonsense? I feel like when you say "I'm not a morning person" suddenly you're the Sultan of Sloth, a a drag on the economy, and a disgrace to your early-rising ancestors. I don't know what time my ancestors got up! In the 1930s everybody was smoking cigarettes and drinking bathtub hooch and you're telling me folks were just leaping out of bed at the rooster's call with a spring in their step and a twinkle in their eye??? During Jim Crow??? I just don't see it.
So, yes, I like to get a little bit of a slow start on the day. Y'know, sometimes I have a meeting at 3 so I need a full 6 hours to be paralyzed with anxiety about it beforehand. The regular. I have so much shame about this, though! Why??? I get my job done (he writes in his newsletter that is a day late). I just work much better in the evenings, than I do in the mornings. It's not like I'm sleeping all that much, either. I generally can't sleep at all (although I've slept a little bit better since I did an interview with Laura Dern and all she wanted to talk about was these magnesium pills she gives her kids to help them sleep, so of course I tried the magnesium pills and darned if they didn't work pretty well. All I wanted to talk about was Jurassic Park, but you know what they say: when Life closes a door, God opens a bottle of magnesium pills.)
In general, I'm awake fairly early in the morning, but I'm not camera-ready. And by that I mean I don't want to be seen or perceived until about 10:30, which is the time that I roll into my therapy appointment. It feels on theme to look bedraggled for my therapist. For much of my adult life I've followed the Dolly Parton morning beauty routine, meaning I tumble out of bed and stumble to the kitchen, pour myself a cup of ambition and yawn and stretch and try to come alive. Actually, I don't do much stretching in the morning which is part of the whole problem with my general being. Like, I know that I need to stretch in the morning and Dolly told me to do it and yet here I am living my full Billy Ray Cyrus life, which is to say Achey and Breakey.
Now that I do a lot of my work in TV, I'm more likely to be on a Zoom at 9pm than at 9am, which is fine for me. By that time, my face has sort of woken up, everything has settled into place. Plus, the lighting in my office is better in the evening. Some of these harsh winter rays coming from the morning sun??? HOME OF PHOBIC! The universe is conspiring to make me look haggard until about noon Eastern and I'm not for it.
It just takes things a minute to get situated, face-wise, I think. And I say let them! I'm not in a rush. But this has gotten a little complicated of late because I've just started a gig coaching a group of TV writers in Brazil and the sessions start every morning at 9 am our time (which is 10 Brazil time) and sometimes I show up on that Zoom looking so bedraggled that I'm considering buying a veil like I'm Alexis Carrington walking into a courtroom on Dynasty. Now I know 9 am is not that early but the thing is my face does not know this. Can someone send a message to my face? I'm logging on in the cold November light, my visage giving a drag performance of "Winter Song", and meanwhile they're all in tank tops and sun-kissed because it's summer there, like all the time, and everyone seems contractually obligated to have successfully figured out their look.
After I get off the Zoom with Brazil every morning I got to the bathroom and do this in the mirror until at least supper time.
My mother-in-law is in town and, as we walked through Target last week, I was screaming about how every morning I spend a long time looking like Jacob Marley's ghost. She suggested I try a jade roller, which I was very excited about because I've been hearing about jade rollers on all the little skincare Instagram accounts I follow but do not heed. Plus, I do love adding props to my existential spirals! So now every morning I spend a few minutes tilling my face. I'm a farmer! My my crops are facial puffiness and "a youthful glow". And, I have to say, it's working! All last week I look like I had unfortunately expired minutes before logging on to the Brazilian Zoom.
But then last night (about 6 this morning) I sat up in bed in a panic and screamed into Siri "WHAT TIME IS IT IN BRAZIL???" See, we set our clocks back here in America because of the scam of Daylight Savings Time but down there they are free from the tyranny of reality and their time remained the same. Heretofore, we were one hour behind them but now we're two hours behind. The class isn't at 9 my time anymore; it's at 8 am. We're going to need more jade.
I gotta say this was pretty cool to see! Dickinson is streaming now on AppleTV+ and one of the episodes I wrote starts streaming this coming Friday.
Fun fact! That picture is so blurry because I had to take a photo of my actual TV instead of a screenshot on my computer because every time I took a screenshot, it came up black thanks to Apple's anti-piracy software! Piracy bad! But also... my ego!
Random Thing on the Internet
WHAT TIME IS IT IN BRAZIL???,
Kings of B'more, my YA novel that's a contemporary riff on Ferris Bueller's Day Off, is out everyone on May 31, 2022. Pre-order it here or from you favorite indie bookstore, or request it from your local library!