Night Owling

Rambling thoughts of a lifelong insomniac.

soft glow of a device illuminates a mostly obscured woman holding it. Text reads “Night Owling.”

I’ve been padding around the house in the middle of the night as long as I can remember, and definitely as young as five.

I love the middle of the night. I love the crazed energy of a second wind — when everything is quiet. It feels OK to have heightened senses and chronic hypervigilance. I am alone, slipping in and out of silky shadows.

I hate waking early. Benjamin Franklin and all of the polymaths of all time can keep their early risings to themselves. I hate early mornings so much, that rising early is my litmus test for how much I love doing a thing.

Do I love this enough to get up at 5 am for it? I do? OK, then I can work on movies!

(Until I couldn’t, then it was HATE with a capital STAB!)

My high school had a thing called “Zero Hour.” Fuck “Zero Hour!” (Those sadists also had things called “JUG [Justice Under God] and RASSH [Required After School Study Hell.]) Sometimes my friends and I just stayed up all night, drinking coffee and smoking, rather than go to bed and try to rouse for school. I couldn’t be friends with morning people until well after college. Even now, it is not easy. But, at least now, I am in awe of them, weirdos.

Things no longer worth early mornings:

  • Flights/travel.
  • Hiking/anything outdoorsy.
  • Anyone who is sporty.
  • Christmas morning. (JFC, get a Hanukkah and let me sleep in.)
  • Shitty office jobs with too much bureaucratic/capitalist gore.
  • Working on movies.
  • Working in television.
  • Working in advertising.
  • Working without 100% good feelings.

It’s not to say I won't do any of these things, they just aren’t good enough for mornings now that I’m decades into my vespertine ways. And, I would definitely still get up early for anything magical, a good sunrise, or my people. I would just also need a nap later. I am a total fucking night owl.

Thank you to Annie Rachele Lanzillotto for telling me to make a list.

nerd with an MLIS

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