You almost certainly know the song, but in case you don’t, here:
The title refers to that time in the morning when you’re staring at the ceiling, wondering when your brain will stop stop STOP RUNNING AT SUPER SPEED because you have to get up to work early because the freeway is under construction and you have to take local roads and you have to pick up donuts in the morning for that big meeting and you can’t remember if Susan likes jelly donuts or if you just remember her talking about jelly one day and you’re wondering if she was talking about prOH GOD WHY AM I NOT ASLEEP???
3:35 in the morning. Twenty-five (or six) to four.
There aren’t many feelings worse than that, at that time of the night. You can literally hear your hair growing as you lie there, wondering how other people can possibly be sleeping happily when you can feel every piece of dust on your skin.
And sooner or later, you start thinking about death.
You wonder if your entire death is going to be like this, aware but unmoving, thoughts flitting past that you can’t hold on to but can’t really let go, thoughts that you can’t do anything about but you can’t stop.
And then you make the big mistake… you look at the clock.
It’s not moving.
That’s the biggest problem with digital clocks, you can’t tell if they’re moving, just by looking at them. They just glow at you. Glow and cover everything with the barest hint of sickly light that you can now see half the room with.
And you swear the clock isn’t working… so you stare at it. Stare stare stare.
Maybe a bit longer.
Dammit, the thing is broken, how did I get stuck with such a piece of AHH, the time changed.
Great. Another minute gone. What time is it now? 3:33? Either time is moving backwards or I’m halfway to hell.
(This is usually the point where I try to make a mental note to myself to finally call the doctor back about scheduling that sleep study. I’d call him now but he’s probably asleep, the bastard. Maybe I should call him anyway, give him a chance to really empathize with his patients who can’t sleep.)
I’d like to claim I’m up late typing because of jet lag, but sadly I’m often up at these %$#@! hours. On the other hand, this is one of the few times that typing like this has actually been on topic. The awful truth is that we all have nights like this. The causes vary– medical, environmental, or good old-fashioned paranoia– but we’ve all been there, and will probably be there again sooner than we’d like.
No, no. Don’t stay up for me. You go back to bed. I’m going to be up a bit longer, searching for something to say… waiting for the break of day.