#209: The Early Bed

macbook on a messy bed

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Going to bed early is seriously underrated. A good night’s sleep? Give that to me. The opportunity to wake up in the morning without feeling like a walking zombie? I’ll take that, any day of the week, including weekends sometimes. The chance to rest on my lazy back without having to sit up or walk around any more? Relaxing and divine, all at once.

When I’m at home and feeling especially tired, I like to go to bed earlier than usual, or at least lay in bed earlier than expected. It’s refreshing to be able to lie down without worrying about anything or anyone, no more chores to do, no more work to prepare, no more people to talk to except the voice inside my head that slowly drifts me to my slumber. Just me and my pillow and the blanket on top of me. Writing this right now, I feel a sudden urge to go right to bed, even though I just drank a long Contigo filled with coffee and it’s almost 1pm and I’m at work. But I can’t help but think about tonight’s sleep, and the sleep after that, and what it’ll be like to go to bed on the weekend without having to worry about what time I get up. The upcoming weekend is a three-day weekend, so it’s even better.

Alex and I both celebrate the early bed time, from time to time. While thinking of blogs to write about, I knew this topic would come up eventually. It’s a necessary part of our work week, as I can’t imagine going to bed any later than 10pm nowadays. Is that weird? Probably, if you’re my mom reading this, knowing I used to be a complete shut-in with constant late-night gaming sessions. Times have changed, I guess, and so have I.

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#201: The Recap

close up of text

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Today I’ll be outlining some small stories about Alex and I, from two years ago. Back when Alex and I first started dating, we would send each other recaps of our days. We would alternate responsibilities; one night it would be my turn to write the recap, the next night it would be her turn to do it. Over long weekends, such as weekends that we spent together or sleeping in each other’s rooms, or weekends when I would visit her up in Boston or Syracuse, the responsibility to write a recap was threefold: you had to write one for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Granted, we came up with this unjust system all on our own, and we were the ones enforcing it on each other every night to make sure it was done for the next day. But it was a blast to do, and I sometimes miss doing it. There’s so much rushing and moving around during the day, it became nice to look forward to a recap of the events afterwards. Reflection and relaxation combined here.

At times, I would forget about the recap, and Alex would remind me in the morning and I’d hurry to finish one in the shower before work. Back when I was teaching at a different school, I would dread writing recaps at night because I had so much work to do, and I felt like writing another 300-word review of the day wasn’t exactly necessary as a use of my time. But looking back, and seeing all the recaps from our first year collected together in a nice book, it was absolutely worth it, and I would do it again if I could. We only stopped because, well, we moved in together, so most of our days were spent together anyway. We would “recap” before dinner, or before bed, but not in the same formal fashion that it took before we moved in. That’s a vestige of our relationship during earlier times.

Each Night

Each day separate but

Each night I think the same thoughts

I don’t know what it is I miss

That I can’t find here

Whether it’s the cold weather

Breeding chilly complacency

Or the familiar structures

The short paved roads

The unused swimming pools

Or the stark red stop signs

The roar of neighboring motorcycles

The corporate juggernauts

With their two-faced friendliness

Or the convenience stores all the same

But different here indescribably

That’s the aura I sense in this

Peculiar new world

Absolute but ambiguous difference

I guess the situation is clear now

Everybody needs some love in their lives

To carry on

Night

http://amylandisman.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/darkness.jpg

There’s something peculiar about dusk

Which forces my creative self into action

Beyond my capabilities during the day

The dusk commands me, through itself

Into escaping thoughts and melodramas

Time past midnight is cause for sanctuary

Risk not a minute without a pen in hand

And an open notebook facing the ceiling

Staring into the dark ambiguity of dusk

Secrecy glimpses through the window

For protection from people like me,

Steady with their stares and pen hands

It’s an attribute learnt through time,

like an intense appreciation for the night,

A mutual respect known only through

These disheveled, misguided words.

 

 

Midnight?

Midnight?

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.

Long Nights

night

Oh, there’s a long night up ahead, announces

The conductor as the train watches the

Last glimpse of light from the city

Dissipate behind our wake.

You know what I mean,

It’s one of those long nights in the darkness;

The kind of night that

Remembers every word you write, and

Every mistake and regret you had.

It remembers and it shouts it louder than

Your ears can take before bursting apart.

The train reminded me of the city,

But it felt eerie and mysteriously different.

Less outside noise, more inner contemplation.

I was writing a few thoughts down when

We hit a bump in the tracks.

The hanging lights shuddered and quaked,

On and off, on and off they flickered,

Startling the sleeping customers and

Amusing the man playing scales on a light

Acoustic guitar that never seemed to go out of tune.

We drove through the night without a thought

Of the darkness enveloping the steel of the train,

Still bounding through the desert,

The forest, the mountains, and the dusky, dead villages.

I remembered what it was like when home existed,

But tonight the train was my home, and tomorrow

The same train, headed somewhere else.

It’s going to be a long night, but the

Guitar and this pen will save me from my misery,

And the regrets consuming around us.