notes from the minutes past midnight

The minutes after midnight are weird little creatures.

Everything and every one has switched off for the night except me, at least in the small bubble of my apartment. Muffled laughter outside the window and sporadic social media updates tell me the world is still active, but in here all is static.

Usually there would be a cup of tea or cocoa sitting nearby, but I forgot to make one tonight. It would be half-finished and cold at this point, but still, there’s something very satisfying about having a mug close at hand while writing.

Emotions are strange in this type of stillness. It’s this bizarre muted amplification, if that makes any kind of sense at all. Everything inside me is simultaneously huge and shadowed, inflated and dull. I feel everything and nothing all at once.

I lie on the couch and tick off the little tasks I need to do before tucking myself into bed. Tidy the kitchen. Take off my make-up. Put up the strewn articles of clothing on my bed. Nothing I want to do, but all the things I require of myself before bedtime. It’s routine.

The fan kicks in, and it’s the first noise other than my keyboard clacking I’ve heard in the last 20 minutes. (Of course, I type that and then someone screams loudly outside my window. It’s either a spider or someone just got engaged.*)

These are the moments in which my brain remembers every far-flung dream it has ever conceived. Auditioning for a Broadway show on a whim. Hopping on a train to Vermont just to see the how the leaves look in autumn. Every possible way to get to Andorra. I walk through all the plans again, tweak them, file them away for the next time 12:45 a.m. and I meet.

I wander through the catalog of what-ifs, the could-have-beens, the roads-not-travelled. I wonder for the umpteenth time if any of them led to Friday nights with a hand to hold instead of…well, Friday nights blogging in a silent apartment. I remind myself that those alternate paths are alternate for a reason.

And, due to a lack of felt goatees, this obviously can’t be the darkest timeline. So that helps.

There is so much to want in this world. Every day there is a new something. And I want so many somethings. Physical somethings, emotional somethings, mental somethings, something somethings. I want so much of it. And at 1:05 a.m. I am reminded just to what depth some of those wants go. The ones that ache and cry when my mind touches them, the ones that threaten to turn my heart inside out and wring it dry.

Sleep is finally creeping into my head, and I think I shall heed its call. The simple joy of a non-committed Saturday is calling to me, and I will wake up with a smile on my face and no ties to this midnight cacophony of brain activity.

Which, I think, is why I decided to write it here in the first place.

*All credit to Shea for this quip. My wit is all puns and plagiarism after 11 p.m.


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