— photograph from Desktop Nexus
The other day at work I was going about my daily tasks, humming a cheerful, aimless tune. I was cheerful because it was late afternoon and my shift had just started.
“You’re one of those night people, aren’t you?” a co-worker remarked to me disdainfully. Poor thing, I knew by the way she said “night person” that it was supposed to be mildly insulting, but I forgave her. I could see she was more than ready to go home, and I knew from past conversations how the rest of her day would go. She would eat an early supper, watch the six o’clock news and a few sitcoms, and be snugly in bed by nine.
Night person? Who, me?
Hell, yes. The Mistress of Midnight, the Queen of Darkness, the Angel of Moonrise, that’s me, and I’m not even a vampire. I just act like one.
The main advantage to being a night person is being out of sync with the rest of the world. I love being awake and aware while the rest of the world is fast asleep. I see and hear things that day people miss, like that huge raccoon who lives under my neighbor’s porch rooting through my other neighbor’s trash cans. I see someone’s daughter’s late-night date drop her off in the parking lot of the apartment house across the street. I see the moon rise and set, I hear the distant drone of midnight traffic and the sleepy twittering of a sparrow that has waked too early.
Nighttime is the time when everything rests and goes unconscious except for me. Not that I sit and stare out the window all night long, or watch three-hour blocks of I Love Lucy – the evening hours are too precious to waste in that manner. Instead, I create and dream without intrusion from the outside world. I find peace in the midst of a city-sea of people, and I feel an unspoken kinship with every other night person who is awake and conscious at that time.
The main drawback to being a night person is being out of sync with the rest of the world. Waking up before 8 a.m. feels like the middle of the night to me. When my family is just falling into bed I am getting my second wind. As my friends drop out one by one to hit the hay, I am just hitting my stride. Because I have a day job, most of the time I force myself to go to bed like a decent human being at a decent hour and stare at the insides of my eyelids before falling into an unhappy doze. Once in a while, though, I become absorbed in a DVD, a book, or an interesting reddit thread and lose track of time. Suddenly it will be 3:30 in the morning, and I have to rise at 6. Staying up late isn’t the problem here. The problem is that the rest of the world demands that I am up and functioning at a reasonable level far, far too early. It’s the rest of the world that’s out of kilter, not me…
But I don’t want to change the world. I prefer to keep my status as Queen of Darkness. I love to gaze out my window at those one or two lone lit windows along a darkened street and know that inside is a fellow ruler of the night. Are you?