3 am, it’s that time again. What time would that be? To sleep? Nope. 3 am is the time to eat a tangerine, write a letter to my grandmother, tip-toe around the house and then hog the computer. As my momma can testify, I’ve always been a nocturnal beastie, even as a wee babe my mother found me sitting up in my crib in the middle of the night, playing by myself. When I learned how to walk, I often wandered the house in the dark and scared my mother to death.
It used to be that at times like this, I could grab my older brother, who was nocturnal too, and we’d sneak out of the house and drive down to 7-11 for slurpees and junk food at 2:30 am. Then when I got my own car, I’d grab my little brother or sister and we’d go out for the same, sometimes donuts. (mom, don’t read this) In the summer, we’d sit on the front porch all night and just revel in the sneakiness of being out of the house (but not technically OUT of the house) in the middle of the night.
I don’t know why the middle of the night is so magical, why the emptiness that would be called loneliness in the daytime is suddenly transformed into something deliciously sneaky once night falls. When the lights go out, when more sensible people go to bed, then the world and all that’s in it is mine. There’s no one else on the computer, it’s mine. The whole street is empty, I own that too. I stand on the balcony by myself and assert my ownership of the night sky. Of course, Allah is the true owner of everything, but as far as the human concept of ownership is concerned, with no one to contest it, my 3 am rights stand unchallenged. And they don’t just extend to the road and the sky, my rights also extend over the refrigerator, and the half-empty bag of chips that’s sitting on top of it. I couldn’t eaten the chips at any other time today, but you know what? They just taste better at 3 am.
I’m just a weird one I guess, because as much as I love people, and laughing with my family and coffee in crowded booth with too many friends, I love the peace and the simplicity of a world asleep while I alone dance quietly on the rooftop.