Taking back the night

Whenever I’m working, I daydream about being able to sit up for half the night. All those musky, quiet, late night hours where you sit listening to music, perhaps at a desk, doodling, or with a laptop, writing, or browsing webpages, and the time stretches around you completely. No obligation, nowhere to be but here. Perhaps some coffee to keep you awake and no sense of guilt that coffee is exactly the wrong thing right now.

Before I started medical school I daydreamed about studying again, being able to stay up all night studying and that sense of freedom, being able to read and learn, delve into, become engaged by anything I wanted, late at night because I didn’t have to get up at seven for work. Taking back my own late nights. I missed that. I had rosy memories of how it’d been before.

Of course when it came to it I remembered that studying is never rosy in that way. You always feel resentful because you’re studying something you have to study, and of course you’re not free. The night is not your own, the night becomes the battleground where you’re fighting a deadline, or pushing your way into the dark, towards the late hours against resistance, and coffee is there not as a friendly companion but as a necessity to keep your eyes open.

I’m working now for the summer so I have to be up early in the morning. And yet here it is again, it’s half twelve and I’m daydreaming about being able to stay awake all night. Writing a blog perhaps. Listening to this.


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