Weekend notes are short-form POVs.
Every morning over the past two weeks, I’ve been startled awake like clockwork, somewhere between the hours of 4 and 5. It's a time of day — neither dark nor light, early nor late — that's always been contentious for me: since childhood, when the occasional nightmare would leave me wide-eyed and white-knuckled in the wee hours, it’s always been the early, foggy-headed fragments of the morning when problems seem bigger, fears seem weightier and darkness seems most grim.
I live in New York now, though, in a busy neighborhood where darkness and quiet don’t exist, where there are people on the street even at 4 AM. These days, in the winter cold, I can see their breath from my window — tiny reminders that the world keeps moving even when our eyes are closed. Somehow, knowing they’re there makes the middle of the night less bleak — and though I suspect the reason I’ve been up at this hour has something to do with stress, it’s easier to let it pass as they do: briskly, silently, without fanfare.
The night before last week’s much-talked-about blizzard (which I wrote about here), I went to sleep wondering whether the wind and heavy snow in the forecast would wake me up. As we know now, it passed through the city largely without incident; still, my eyes opened right on cue, at 4.
In place of the chaos I expected, however, flakes fluttered gently in the light of street lamps. I remember thinking it was just how I always imagined snow would look as a child — like the inside of one of those glass globes on the shelf of the souvenir shop at the airport — and I watched for a few moments before my body remembered sleep: snowflakes falling, drifting, nothing like a storm.
Thank you so much, as always, for reading. See you Monday.