In the middle of the night, I sure can tell a story. Lately, the bewitching hour so to speak, seems to be somewhere between 3:30 and 4:00, when I wake up, not nearly rested enough. It would, of course, be better to go back to sleep, but since I have no control over that, I daydream, well, night dream— oh, you know what I mean.
For some reason, in spite of the desperate exhaustion inherent in those foggy, half-eye-open moments, that time happens to be the most conducive to good ideas—my favorite blog posts and writing projects have been born during those quiet hours. Perhaps I’m still attached to my subconscious, maybe dreams still resonate— I don’t know. But whatever the cause, sentences slip in like spilled baby oil, smooth and clear. If I could somehow pour them directly onto the page, we’d be in fat city, but those rivers of words never make it to print.
Before you ask, yes, I have a pad of paper beside my bed. Sure, when these thoughts erupt; I jot down notes, but it’s in the dark, without my glasses—when I can find the pen. So while the concepts make it, the liquid free flow that seeps up like ground water in the spring doesn’t. I can never convince myself to get up and fully record the detail. To tell the truth, it’s unlikely the pen could keep up for one, and besides our Yankee skin-flint mentality dictates that the heat goes off in our house at 9:00 p.m. It’s New England y’all. It’s just too darn cold. So the ideas that I ultimately find scribbled on a piece of paper tend to look like this.
Hours later I stare at the scrawl and pull at the lingering threads of memory that remain, knowing that the easy writing, that genius composition that arrived during a sleep deprived half-life has faded away— as happens with all the most comforting dreams.