It's only on occasion that Nate gets up for work before I do. Today was one of those occasions. Usually I slip out of bed and into the shower around 5:20—having snoozed my alarm twice—allowing Miles into our room to jump into bed and purr next to Nate. But today at 4 a.m. I was incoherent and half asleep. He said goodbye and I followed with, "Go serve coffee to the glory of God!"
I turned over and went back to sleep until it was time to get up and ready and head up Nolensville Rd. I've made it a habit to take 4th Ave. all the way into downtown; I avoid the 6 a.m. interstate and the 40 m.p.h. speed limit through the sleeping neighborhoods has done wonders for my gas mileage.
No matter how I time it, I inevitably hit the 30-second red light at 4th and Lafayette, which is followed by another 30-second red light that is green when you first merge onto Lafayette but yellows as you move beneath the bridge. It's impossible to hit it while it is still green … unless, perhaps, you floor it and hit 60 in the span of two blocks, but I'd rather sit at a red light for 30 seconds than pay a speeding ticket.
Lafayette stretches past the Nashville Rescue Mission and as day breaks, the sidewalks are worn down by homeless people who seem to live in shades of brown and gray. Some run in the morning. Some carry brown bags by the neck. Others scuffle into one of the two buildings that connect people with spontaneous work opportunities. The $623 million Music City Center rises incrementally during a four-year labor from the space between 5th Ave., 8th Ave., Broadway, and Lafayette. One day it was level, the next day there were stories and stairs. It was incredible.
At 8th Ave. South, Lafayette ends and sends me north toward Broadway. The street is lined with orange barrels and cones, paralyzed bodyguards for the men at work.
It's 6:15 and I'm early, but that's kind of how I roll. I came into this world two months early; tardiness just isn't in my blood.