Ah 1 A.M, hello darkness my old friend. The hour of the night where things start to take a downwards turn. The time when you realise that the house is silent, the street sleeps and sheep are being counted. Yet here you lie. Listening to the deafening tick tock of the clock, or binging your 10th episode of your Netflix sinkhole, or replaying conversations from days past. Damn how funny would it have been if I said that. Maybe things would have been different if I phrased it like this. Perhaps if I wasn’t numbing my brain with a millionth re-watch of Friends I could be as witty in real time as I am lying here in the dead of night wrestling with my imagined conflicts.
One things for certain, you ain’t sleeping. This was acceptable a few hours ago. We had all the time in the world at 10pm, there were still others stirring at 11pm, 12am reigns in a new day and time to settle down for bed. 1am births a premature fear that maybe sleep won’t come on time tonight. A thought easily nurtured into a reality if you allow it.
1am is a lonely time. The world is so full of noise and light during the day it often drowns out our own thoughts. We are easily distracted by the hustle and bustle of everyday life, work and social responsibilities, we lose ourselves in the roles we play. But at 1am, while the rest of the world sleeps there are no more distractions. Without others to keep us occupied we have nowhere else to retreat but inwards.
1am is an irrational time. Entire realities can stretch beyond us into the night. By day we concern ourselves with trivialities. Getting through another shift at work, making small talk with neighbours, buying groceries. By night we concern ourselves with the existentialism. Getting through life, the meaning of existence, our place in the grand schematic. Its easy to lose yourself in irrationality at this time. Without others to ground us we lose our footing and float into the darkness of such unanswerable questions. Seriously, what is the point of it all?
1am is a dark time. Our worst emotions breed and multiply in the shadows. Light may keep them bay during the day, but once the lights are out they are free to roam uninhibited. Doubt and fear grow thick like vines over bed sheets, constricting movement and suffocating sleep. Anxiety and sadness slither and crawl under mattresses, threatening to grab an outstretched foot and pull us under. While the world sleeps on and the night creeps by, beasts come out to play.
May sleep take us sooner rather than later and deliver us to the waking world of company, rationality and light. It’s best not to dwell on it. It will not come when called for, only when un-thought of, that is the cruelty of it.