Wednesday, July 30, 2008

n.o.c.t.u.r.n.a.l. is not a 4-letter word

My default mode has always seemed be nocturnal. Even as a child I was loathe to go to sleep before midnight, much to the annoyance of terrible childhood happenings. In middle school I would stay up all night (on weekends and holidays) watching Nick-At-Night TV programs like 'Mr. Ed', 'The Patty Duke Show', 'Donna Reed' and 'Dobie Gillis'. The unadulterated escapism of these shows was unparalleled and fueled a nostalgia in me for 'simpler times' that never really existed outside of a sound stage (refer to the movie 'Pleasantville' for a very accurate portrayal of this syndrome). I would also watch whatever infomercial happened to be on (it was usually one for a 'Pocket Sandwich Maker') when Nick-At-Night went off the air at about 3am. It was quite a feeling of exhilaration being awake while my parents slept. The night was expansive and full of potential for dreams and schemes. I reveled in the solitude and wrote lame but heart-felt angsty poetry and read sassy magazine during the boring TV shows, like 'My Three Sons'.

I can't help thinking about that feeling now as I sit here at 2am, my full-spectrum lamp burning bright, listening to Cat Power with 'A Few Good Men' muted on the screen. I've recently ended up on a completely reversed day/night sleep cycle which entails my going to bed around 6am and waking up around 11am or noon. Right now I have about 5 straight hours of writing and reading ahead of me and I feel like I own the night -- as if these hours are somehow more innately mine than any daytime hours could ever hope to be.