Ever since I was little, I wondered if I belonged to a life in a bigger city – like New York because it’s the city that never sleeps. Or, I just read and watched too many vampire themed stories. I imagine waking up in the middle of the night, throwing on a jacket or sweater over my pajamas and taking a stroll down down the city block to a late night diner with fried food and cheap coffee.
What’s the use the of trying to force myself to sleep when my body wants to be awake at this hour? What if I protest to melatonin induced moments? It’s not anxiety. I don’t wake up worrying about anything. I’m just awake and I love the silence of the world around me at that hour. All around me people are dreaming and I my own quiet whisper is louder than daylight hours.
I should be able to walk to my diner with it’s neon flashing sign just as the clock turns midnight where a waiter wearing the chef’s apron greets me with a nod. The sign reads, “Up at Midnight”. Started by a stay at home mom because her first baby cried through the night unless she walked around and hummed. I nod to that grown baby. He knows my usual and gets started before I sit down in one of the reupholstered vinyl seats. Only a few other souls look in my direction and then return to their own hours of silence.
One of them is retired and has bouts of insomnia after years of working on the night shift. The just finished theirs, and unwinds in the company of his friend, the double duty chef. He never left the diner after his parents retired, and he took over the small mom and pop shop. The locals thank him for keeping the corner open but the few of us who love quiet, dark of the night appreciate him more than the day walkers.
There’s nothing like the smell of hot food that you didn’t have to cook in the middle of the night. It’s even better when you only have to walk a block in your pajamas. Sometimes, I don’t even bother to put in my shoes. I just walk the block in my pink slippers with unicorn horns without a care in the world.
I hope you enjoyed one of my midnight shorts!
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