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6:30am is very dark and quiet. Not a soul stirring on Nickson Street as I button my jacket up to the top.
I can cross Crown Street against the light; there's no traffic. I pass a solitary man walking his dog.
The guy at Not The Old Fish Shop on Elizabeth Street is already there, doing his opening routine. What TIME does he GET there? More imporantly, what time does he go to bed? Earlier than midnight, I suspect sheepishly.
Crumbs, the lovely bakery on Devonshire, is also open. The 50-something lady with her grey hair tucked under a funky bandana is still setting out the mountains of doughnuts, muffins and pastries.
My mouth waters, though my breakfast of Margaret River yogurt, muesli and bananas sits heavily in my stomach.
As I near Central, the world is waking up.
The garbage trucks chugging up the street, trailing its sickly sweet smell. I recognize the girl from the front desk at my gym walking up from the tunnel under Central.
I take bus 440-Rozelle down Broadway to the footbridge on Parramatta Road.
Crossing the bridge in that still moment over the highway, I look back on the city skyline, still black against the pink clouds, the blush of sunrise creeping over the horizon.
Taking a deep, slow breath of the crisp morning air before the calm dissipates from the city morning, I turn back and continue on my way to open my shop. There are anxious coffee drinkers awaiting my arrival.
lack of sleep
The Sydney Magazine