do you guys know how much i love the hours between 4 and 6 am?
first, there was the summer between junior and senior year of high school, when anything seemed possible. i made mix tapes for my car, which i had just learned to drive, of wistful love songs like beyond the sea and i believed them. the night before my mom's wedding my friend and i stayed up late, slumping from the couch to the floor, and watched fellini films like we were the first people in the world to see them. i would wake up at 3 or 4 and float into the morning, listening to gentle, sad music and writing poems and letters and college essays. i loved these hazy hours when everyone else was asleep and i could do absolutely nothing as if it were the most important and meaningful thing in the world.
last year i worked from 6 to 2, and i would wake up every day at 5:30. the house was dark and cold and my dad would turn on the tap and i would remember that it was the morning, just before the alarm went off. i was always surprised how ok it was to be awake at 5:24, before the alarm. and i would put on my uniform and parka and thud downstairs and my dad and i would have an english muffin with boysenberry jam and lots of butter. then he would defrost the car and drive me the 5 minutes to town, where i would have the first cup of coffee out of the machine and memorize the floorboards until customers started trickling in at 7:30. it made me realize that even at my unluckiest, i am the luckiest person in the world.
this is my first real week of insomnia in california. i fought it. but then this morning i got up at 3:30, turned on the oven, mixed a loaf of bread, stood on my balcony and watched the sky shift from bruised to bleached. i am eating the bread now and i forgot to put salt in it, so it is hot and moist and filling and totally flavorless. i watched tv, balanced my checkbook, and read the new york times, where i found this. my favorite thing about being awake between 4 and 6 is that you are the only one awake, but you never feel alone.