It’s 3 a.m., my witching hour. Miss K, my therapist, calls it the “common hour” because apparently so many people are awake at this time of night. Thinking of my fellow insomniacs makes me feel less alone when I wake and blink in the darkness, my mind racing.
Everything is scarier during the common hour: the thoughts, the aches, the unsaid words, unpaid bills, unresolved fights, the speed of time passing, my grip on it tentative, slippery. I know that it’s just my primal brain misbehaving at this hour—Miss K explained that. Still, I can’t help but list in my head all the things that I am sure will end in tragedy: the weird rash, the soccer game, the plane ride.
Then words. Long, mingled nighttime thoughts turn into perfect sentences and brilliant paragraphs and entire bodies of work float across my mind. I am eloquent and have so much to say. I reach for my notebook by the side of the bed, almost giddy with excitement. But even just that movement—turning to my other side—interrupts this cosmic flow. I scribble nonsense in the half-light. Whatever the darkness reveals to me slips away by the morning completely.
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It’s funny how everything is so clear in the darkness but also so very tenuous, slipping away at the slightest inkling that it might be captured. Only once was I able to scribble it down fast enough.