Monday, March 31, 2014

Creature of the Night

It's nearly two in the morning as I write this. The house is not as still as you might think:  Eva's sleeping upstairs, having set her alarm clock (me) to six a.m. In the basement, a load of clothes is sudsing away in the washer and another is tumbling around in the dryer, with a third in a basket waiting the all clear to come upstairs (six a.m., remember?)
Peach is asprawl on the couch; Tux is within petting distance of me (or probably more pertinently, within easy grabbing distance of any of my lunch that might chance to drop his way.) The cats are wherever cats go between bouts of mindless frantic running all over the house. Oh, there's Mooch now, looking for love in all the Daddy-places. Bubbles cares not for love....Bubbles cares not for naught but Bubbles.
And I? I'm listening to Godowski's improvements on Chopin's √©tudes, played by Marc-Andre Hamelin. I've completed a French essay and I'm reading, between distractions, a long article in the weekend Globe and Mail about distractions.  There's one more load of laundry to go (I hate laundry month) and a load of dishes to run through as well. Given the ridiculous hydro rates in Ontario (which are actually beginning to spawn protests), the chance to do all this laundry and run the dishwasher in 'off-peak' hours is a nice perk of my new schedule.

The solitude is lovely. The loneliness, not so much.

I shouldn't really complain. I'm not the only person working this infernal schedule and some have it much worse than me. But there are things I doubt you daywalkers are aware of. For instance: technically, unless I ask for one, I never have a day off anymore. Yes, I'm not at work right now, but I worked the first six hours of yesterday and I work at ten p.m. today.  The other thing is that unless Eva decides to have a morning nap--or I do, before my lunchtime--I never get to sleep with my wife any more.

I had foolishly thought this schedule might give me a social life. Before, I was going to bed right about the time most people were gearing up to go out. Now, I'm gearing up go to work. Except on Tuesday (when I have French class) and Sunday ("we asked one hundred people, 'what night of the week is reserved for fun?' 'Sunday!' 'Survey says: BZZZZZT!'")

I went to bed early yesterday -- before 9 a.m.--and slept until almost seven, which is incredible. The funny thing is, each sleep has followed the same pattern: I've awoken  three or four hours in, absolutely resisted the temptation to leave bed for anything other than the most pressing excretory reasons--and then laid there, unthinking, trying to sleep. At some point I'll look over at the clock and four (or today, almost six) hours has gone by, so obviously I've slept. But even today, it didn't really feel like it. After a week of such non-restorative slumbers you can start to understand why it was Michael Jackson took the pills he took.

First world problems, to be sure. I have a job I'm reasonably happy at, and the actual shift is a joy, now that I have a pair of wireless headphones and the license to wear them once the store is closed an hour into my day. I miss my workmates, though. Some of them quite a lot.

'Leave all thoughts of the world you knew before!'

I don't think I can. I may work nights, but I may never be a creature of the night...

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