There are these monkeys in Animal Kingdom--White Cheeked Gibbons.
|Those cheeks can flap|
They swing around all cute in their large enclosure, a major attraction for the guests.
But in the mornings, they are completely different. The dominant male monkey perches on his bamboo piece and screeches, cheeks flapping, spit squirting. His cries echo through the park, even up through the Mountain, like a baby Yeti squeaking.
He is calling for his mate who, spoiler alert, is five feet away in their little house.
There was something about walking to work in the park at 4am, the mountain, navy against cerulean, pink at the edges from dawn, with the haunting screeches piercing the low fog, that fired all your senses. Like a promise that everything was going to be new that day, even if you had done it yesterday and the day before.
|Why morning shifts were tolerable|
This morning, I felt it again, for the first time in two years. Descending from the night, the yellow lights punctuated by flickering green and red looked just like the New York I had flown out of 14 hours before: we may as well have gone a circle.
I stepped off the plane and was hit with that promise feeling, that one that fires your senses. The humidity, the dim lights, the scribble on the walls that everyone else seemed to understand, but most of all the quiet. No one is at the airport at 4am. Like hollow Everest and the gibbons, the only sound was the echoing snores, coming out of corners and behind planters and other places sleepers try to hide.
I watched the dark airport fill for the next twelve hours, an entropic whirlwind of people, and I knew that that promise of morning, was only a promise of mornings to come.
PS: 26 hours is a long time to be stuck with only your own thoughts