It's been this way forever, really. No matter how little sleep I get, no matter how early I wake up (5:30 this/yesterday morning), at 10 p.m. my internal alarm goes CLANG and the night in me comes alive. It's a curse, being a night person in a daytime world.
The night is when I write, the night feeds me, the moon not the sun cuts a path just bright enough to wander through, not knowing what could jump out, what might surprise, what waits quietly inside thick midnight blue.
Midnight blue--the first color I ever chose from the crayon box. Since I was old enough to scribble, it has been my favorite. Draw bright dark circles, press hard, see how black blue can get.
As a teenager, I'd take a flashlight under the covers and write in my notebook sometime after 1 in the morning, poetry, stories, loneliness mostly.
In that bed, the orange-yellow of the flashlight painted the white cotton sheets like the sunset, bright-white paper gleamed so fresh, dying for black ink to press against it, to make love, flesh-like pulp welcoming the stain of words, giving in to voice, receiving.
In college I'd pop no-doze and crank out 20, 30, 50 pages in a night. It didn't matter. Exhaust myself for morning so waking up wouldn't hurt so bad. Night was my heart's bandage.
And then, you start to like it.
You don't mean to.
But what you find in the locusts and crickets, the air alive with deathly quiet, no birds, no singing, just stillness--it aches for voice, for words, for sound, for touch--your sound, your touch.
The night is the empty room waiting for sound, a whisper, a scream.
Dark silence is electric. It is a hand poised with a knife aimed just-so at the socket.
It's the moment before, the time that is not yet.
At night there is hope things can get better. By morning hope gives way to blazing sun, to pain that cracks the eye and welcomes tears down.
I have to take the night. I have to.
The night is in me.