It is just after 4:00 in the morning, Mountain Daylight Time.
It is not my usual time of day to write or think, to begin this dialogue with myself (and hopefully later, a reader or two), but regardless, I am awake, haven’t slept, not yet. I’m seated at my desk, listening to Big Bill Broonzy sing “This Train” through some pretty damn good headphones, while much of my city sleeps. My old friend, Insomnia has made an uninvited, unwelcome return, and as usual, demands my complete attention for the duration of his stay.
I’m shaking from lack of sleep, my skin tingles while my body feels jittery.
My two sons sleep in the basement, an hour away from waking for school. They get up too early in my opinion. The school bus doesn’t arrive until 6:40, but they insist they require extra time to eat a fast breakfast, then return to their rooms to, and I quote,”rest for a bit before getting dressed.”
I’d order things differently.
They are 15 (16 in August) and are just learning to drive. I’m not as nervous or jumpy with them behind the wheel as I expected (I’m more jittery now, actually). They both are eager to learn and so far, content to do as I say without question. One is a lead foot, ready for more speed and freedom, and I have to remind him to be patient. The other is cautious and calculated. He needs a gentle push, a reminder that this particular risk is necessary and rewarding. For twins, their personalities are divergent. They have different goals, different interests, rarely share the same friends, but can exhibit a love towards each other that melts my heart.
Outside my house, the darkness lingers-
It is a warm April morning, and I considered sitting on that bench instead of writing. I would have made myself some warm beverage or other, pulled me feet up underneath me, and waited for the sun.
I am a night person, preferring the solitude the late hours bring, and as such, miss most sunrises. It is a consequence of choice, years of electing to stay up late, rather than climb into bed, but I like it this way. It is my routine, and if not for occasional nights like this last one (where I stare at the walls, the shadows, the gray glow of the ceiling, wide awake), it has served me well.
All of my best stories are born in darkness.
I am fading now, feeling that heaviness creeping up on me. My vision is blurry, and I keep checking my glasses for debris or dust. I have cleaned them four times in the last two minutes, and still there is a fuzzy place, an opaque shimmer that hits to me I might be granted an hour or two of sleep.
I think I’ll accept the offer.