Thursday, March 1, 2012


I have an attachment to the night. I love its stillness, how time becomes vague. There is a comfort in being alone with the thoughts and notebooks, it's as if I am lost and unaccounted for. There's no threat of aggression or confrontation and the possibility of ever having to defend myself is removed. I can be alone.

I've used my love of the night to my benefit, my job is at night. I can do what I do when the office is empty. I'm not subjected to the silliness typically associated with office politics. That, and my tendency to flirt and argue can be quashed. Instead, I sit alone and listen to my documentaries, plays and ripped episodes of Heartbreak High.

I emerge when it becomes light, when men in suits walk purposefully down Bourke Street, nursing their take-away soy lattes. I love the sunrise too, even though it signals the end of another wasted evening. The horizon glows with ever-changing pinks and flossy yellows, there are creamy clouds and unfamiliar hues.

Stephen Fry says that people who stay up to see dawn perceive it differently from those who awake early to hear birds frantically chirping. He described the phenomenon in some degree of detail, however, I'm not sure if I quite believe him.

Alexandre Cabanel's Phèdre

When I get home, I go to bed after many hours of distraction. It's mid-morning and I sleep deeply, for too many hours. My dreams are highly involved, typically including detailed scenes of fantastical foreign cities I'm yet to visit. There is often kindness and redemption as I meet the people I so keenly miss and admire. All is calm and blissful.

Dreams are interrupted by the vibration of my phone. Another call, another text. In that moment of disorientation, I fool myself in thinking it had all really happened. It all passed as I dreamt it, with Johnny Marr in that Indian marketplace. I see the daytime dreams as another aspect of that addictive attachment I have to the night, my conscious imagination could never be as compelling as the subconscious.

As much as I love it, I have decided to give up the night for the month of March, the month of my birthday. While I feel safe and autonomous in the indefinite hours of darkness, I know that I forgo the possibility of a real existence. That is, doing things that I really want to do in the hours of daylight.

Perhaps if my hood had a 24 hour gym or even a coffee house, perhaps if I produced more essays or podcasts, I could have kept this up forever. The truth is that I'm just too curious to see what life could be like on the other side of dawn.


  1. Your writings just get better and betterer.

    I sometimes wish I could invert my waking life and start enjoying the night more. I think, though, that it's out of some misguided notion that if I worked at night, I'll have freedom to enjoy the day. But previous experience tells me I'll just sleep through it.

    Happy birthday for the month of March. Hope you have a swell time during the daylight (try not to blink too much, it's a giveaway).

  2. Thank you very much again, Smudge!

    Don't wish to invert your waking life, please! I get so much grief from my friends and family about my sleeping patterns, that and 8am-8pm sleeping time isn't conducive to much daytime fun.

    The adjustment isn't going great too far, I had to have two naps today. We'll see how we get on!

  3. I never quite got the hand of day-time naps. When they happen, they really throw me for hours on end. I'm sure they're just a symptom that'll disappear once you get used to being a "day owl"!