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Nocturnal Pleasures, June 22nd, 1997 :: Ben Turner's Soapbox

 

the soapbox @ benturner.com
archived soapbox: June 22nd, 1997
"Nocturnal Pleasures" [permalink]
    keywords: life, personality, university, education, night, studying, working
    soapbox #: 90
    written: June 22nd, 1997
    words: 1025

"Nocturnal Pleasures", an Essay

Some of us find light in the darkness of the cool, silent night.

My schedule is insane right now. Not in a bad way. Certainly not in a bad way, like my UT roommate's is (hey man, I feel for you, what with that job, four hours of class, and volunteer work -- that takes determination when done over the summer). In fact, I'm having a great time. Not as much fun as I anticipate for next summer if things work out, but I'm getting a lot of work done, I'm involved in a lot of different projects for various people, and I'm deeply in love with Miss Anna.

And all this is playing Hell with my sleeping schedule. I get up very early for class, come home and talk to her, Penelope, for most of the day, then work and study at night. Late into the night. It doesn't bother me in the least that I sleep during the evening and eat dinner at midnight.

I think I know why that is, and you know of course I'm going to tell you every little detail about why it's so attractive to me. You should expect nothing less from a writer or web site author, and you should give us support when we do our job, not bash us like some ignorant twits did to Maggy.

I love the dark and I love the night. It is so me. There are few better pleasures than working on a design project or documentation job at three in the morning, knowing that everyone in your neighborhood and in nearby time zones is sleeping peacefully and soundly, readying for another day. I realize that, Hell, I'm one of the few souls who are awake right now, and that gives a degree of meaning to whatever I'm working on. It means I'm spending the right amount of hours finishing various assignments and designs. Besides, it's more efficient. There's no one to distract you, and you can concentrate fully on the glow of the computer screen or the gentleness of a lightbulb, listening to some quiet Temple of the Dog on the stereo.

The daytime is just so...peopled. People bustling around, scampering around trying to get everything done, bothering and annoying each other, getting more and more frustrated as they deal with more and more different people, all pissed off as well, and it just exponentially gets worse and worse until you end up with the Michael Douglassian Falling Down maniacs who drive up to a Killeen Luby's and open fire, or run through a children's school in Britain and mow down innocent students. People are just so unpleasant to be around. Fuck, I've been trained to be able to work in the most rowdy conditions, certainly, but it requires a great deal of blocking out. I don't need that when I work.

So I do it at night. Problem solved. No one to deal with. And I have much more control of my atmosphere. You see, the night feeds my alienation and introversion with a burning passion, more like a gasoline fire than a smoldering brushfire. The night takes all those people away for me and puts them neatly into their innocent little beds. You want to know why the night is so calm? It's because all that frigging tenseness and aggravation that has exuded from the millions upon millions of people over the course of the day has evaporated by the time the shadows give way to the blackness. The night becomes calm, relaxing, and quite entertaining to be with.

Lack of sleep heightens the alienation. Staying up for days at a time is a real treat, something no one should miss out on. It screws with the chemicals in your brain, and you become very relaxed, yet concentrated, and until the chemical levels get low, you feel wonderful. You feel like you're at the top of your game. Screw sleep -- this is a much finer thing.

What am I doing, not referring to the Night as it should be, as a living entity? Many poets and writers have realized the living, breathing nature of the Night before me, and I see every reason why they thought the Night was a beautiful, feminine creature. The Night has become very much my companion, in a protective sort of way, as a guardian, more accurately. She is there for me when I need to work and she makes sure I am relaxed so I can be productive. She comforts me and watches over me, covering the world with darkness so the only light to illuminate my studies is that which is in my own room.

Don't feel jealous, Anna. She isn't a competitor for my heart. You should know -- you love the night as well. Another aspect of life and this world to share.

Besides, it's just reasonable to accept the Night's caring ways. She is a master strategist, you know. The Night knows how to confuse the opponent, to cast him under a black solid cowl so that he cannot see his enemy, me. The great Taoist war leaders/philosophers said that the best attack is the formless one, and a friend of the Night is indeed formless to his fellow competitor. Du Mu said, "You should not let the opponent see what state you are in, for if the enemy sees your condition, he will surely have a response." The Night is my tutor, teaching me the ways of tactical victory and mental supremacy over anything standing in my way.

And one last thing about the constantly flattered Night is that she shares calm caresses and coaxing clasps with Marvell's amorous birds of prey, so I know for certain that she, in all her warmth, will always be an invited party in my life, and if Anna will have me, in our life.

It's 12:56 AM as I finish the ninetieth Soapbox. I am young. And so is the Night.


 
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