#421: The Midnight Coffee

white ceramic teacup with saucer near two books above gray floral textile

Photo by Thought Catalog on Pexels.com

It’s winter break, which means sometimes I’m prepared to stay up very late, later than I probably should be up, which causes me to ultimately sleep late. Regardless of what happens, coffee feeds into my drive to become a late-night type of person. I become a night owl as soon as I drink coffee past the usual hour. Sometimes, even, I make coffee past midnight, hence the title of this blog post. When I’m talking with friends very late, and we’re on Discord, or we’re playing Jackbox or Overwatch or Monster Hunter World or Path of Exile, it’s the perfect time to make coffee.

I wanted to discuss what it’s like to be up exceptionally late, when the coffee tastes hot and perfect, and you leave the coffee on your Mr. Coffee desk heater, and there’s nothing else in the world you need. Alex is asleep, the dog is asleep with her, and you have to keep a bit quiet just in case anyone wakes up thanks to your loud yelling at the computer screen. Midnight coffee feels extra special when compared to just your regular, run of the mill morning or afternoon coffee. It has an air of rebellious spirit to it, like doing things when you’re normally not supposed to. It’s all for fun anyway.

I’ve mentioned this on the blog before, but I don’t have too much difficulty going to bed at night after drinking coffee. It’s a fairly normal transition from being totally awake thanks to all that caffeine and falling asleep in bed. On the one hand, I appreciate it because I get the chance to fall asleep without having to stay up for hours and hours after drinking coffee late at night. But on the other hand, it’s great. Wait, did I just contradict myself?

It’s Midnight

At nighttime I look forward to dreaming

But it’s unlikely I’ll remember whatever,

When it’s nighttime my mind flows 

Like a calm stream, and then explodes.

There’s a genuine sad-happiness in me,

That makes me ineffectual, indifferent

And it can make you sad too at night

In all the dreams I remember there’s brief recollections of past events

Done differently

Regrets strangling my snoring head

Into complete submission, voluntarily

I look forward to the chance to

Perform something, explore something for a moment

At nighttime and whether I’ll remember it doesn’t matter

A great dream from times past 

Away at nighttime and it reminded me

Of why I went to school for years and years

Because school is for phonies and I was one of them

And I still am one of them, the square-looking

Reject children that did well in school and suffered for it

that noticed the meaning behind the teacher’s words but not their own

that battled for days and nights against hordes of papers and plastics

that earned for themselves when there was nothing to earn but green

Dollar bills and a momentary happiness every other Friday

that incarcerated their feeble sadnesses and happinesses 

that took martial arts classes to

Boost their self-esteem and make them feel like bonafide warriors for once

Encourage their sense of right and wrong

Demolish their tower of self-security built as a function of pi

apple slices broke down into sedimentary metamorphic igneous rocks

pear slices why does no one talk about pears as much as apples

clementine tangelo tangerine oranges what’s the use

fruity words escape the nighttime 

What’s the use I’m not even dreaming

It’s not time yet for school, for work

It’s not eight in the morning it’s not morning or night

It’s not Saturday or Monday or Tuesday either

It’s no day but today

And time is a human construct we can avoid

Just don’t look at it when you’re sleeping

I won’t remember the 5th of November, today

Because it’s not a day

And neither are you




When I was younger, midnight was a hazard. A horror. So, midnight? What made midnight so frightening as a child?

Was it the tales of Bloody Mary, ghosts, and spectral beings which confounded me? Probably. I remember hearing from a kid in 4th grade that if you look into a mirror, say “Bloody Mary” three times quick, and close your eyes, you’ll reopen those eyes to see the “actual” bloody Mary in the mirror, standing behind you. That was enough to get my imagination running wild. And the worst part about the Bloody Mary story? It could only happen between midnight and two a.m. So, during the hours I had already feared from other stories. 4th grade was a rough time. The haunting tales of midnight mysteries had no positive effect on my upbringing – that’s for sure. If anything, I feel scarred more than learned.

I’m fairly gullible. My willingness to trust others – to accept their stories as factual – has not disappeared with time; in fact, I place more trust in others now than I had as a child, I think. I trust my friends deeply. I trust my family even more. And I trust myself to stay true to myself. Cliches, but with a great deal of truth in them. Or maybe not. Like I said, I’m fairly gullible.

Midnight is the symbol of my childhood insecurities. As a gullible child, who apologized for every small mistake, mishap, or harm I may have brought someone else, I was emotionally weak, and grew up in an imaginary ideal land where everyone was trustworthy and no one’s out to bring you pain and strife. Midnight is like the image of Bloody Mary. I tried to stay so far away from it years ago, but I find myself strangely attracted to the free blackness of night.

What a change of scenery the night happens to be! It promotes and stimulates the creativity I have difficulty evoking through daylight. Midnight evinces messages of freedom. Possibility. And thus, the stubbornly dreamy optimism I held years ago returns.

Maybe that’s why midnight is so bizarre to me.