I had another of those plaguing 3am wake-ups last night; 3am, which I’ve taken to calling the worrying hour for it’s always the hour at which people wake to brood, or dread. It’s the hour when we stare into the back heart of despair and can’t see a way out.
It’s not a singular thing that wakes me up at 3am; the BIG ISSUE I can sleep on; i know it, I understand it, I can cope. No, it’s Bukowski’s Shoelace, it’s the small, sharp implements of life, boring tiny holes into the skull. You can hear them at 3am; the world, and the mind, quiet down, and let in the grinding, scraping sounds of creeping madness.
I lie awake at 3am and stare at an invisible ceiling and make fatigue-addled lists of things I need to be doing; lists in my head that will be gone before morning, sleep or not. I let hopes run away with me, dread both named and un-named all the while dragging me down into the mire.
I dare not hope at 3am; it’s the meat the night’s demons feed on.
I lay in the dark for two hours, chasing elusive sleep, knowing that around me people blissfully slept, or rose for jobs that start at ungodly hours; finally one thought drew me from bed.
I sat in the dark waiting for a sunrise, drinking hot, black coffee and thinking; giving in to thoughts and hopes and dreams but not fears; they’re swept away with the cobwebs of sleep, at least for a moment. Chased by caffeine and sunrise, they retreat into dark, grim holes of night.
I look for a battle to fight. Enemies evaporate like smoke; I’ve nothing to smite, and the prize of my mind’s eye remains just beyond reach.
I hate nights like these.