Last night. This morning. Let me tell you about it.
I crawled into bed at around 6 am. I’d spent much of the night with my not-terribly-secret lover, Youtube. We laughed together while I clicked through a maze of old comedy and music videos posted by my favorite independent musician. We teared up together, just a little, when I somehow fell into a strange string of emergency 911 dispatch videos, including a darling one made by a five-year-old who reassured her father with the calmest “Don’t worry, Dad” ever. I also discovered a new musician through the old one and got lost in his old videos too. Dude’s posted over 400. Yeah. I’m still a little concerned about losing future nights to this guy’s work. I hate days like this, tripped up in the fog of self-imposed exhaustion, but old habits die hard.
It was still dark, so I tried to trick myself into berating myself a little less than usual over my largely aimless all-nighter. I put my head to my pillow, surrounded my face with blankets to block out the impending sunlight, and closed my eyes. My head buzzed and my eyes flickered behind my lids. I was still kind of amped, slow cooking on HI.
Watching YT musicians isn’t a complete waste; it does tend to strike an inspirational chord for me, even though writers and musicians are obviously two different kinds of artists. I’d been trying to get myself to write every day with more balance, more acceptance of what I accomplish (or fail to accomplish) at the end of a writing session. Not just fiction either, but more of this, more of the conversations with myself that I’ve fallen out of practice with. I lay in the dark this morning thinking about what would come next. I don’t quite remember what the first flash of inspiration was, but I turned on the light to write it down in the notebook I keep beside my bed. Then I turned it off and stuffed the blankets up around me again. Maybe that would steady the tremble I felt like I’d developed.
Oh, another prompt to scribble down. I knew I wouldn’t remember it when I woke up, and I knew that thinking about forgetting it would bother me so much that I would struggle to fall asleep. So I turned the light on again and scrawled the thought. The light seeping through my blinds bled from dark blue to pale.
It happened again. And again and again. I didn’t keep perfect track, but judging just from the number of thoughts I got down, I turned the light on and off no fewer than fifteen times. I got in seven pages of material. I haven’t reread through all of them, but one of them sticks out to me: “I’m afraid for when this sudden burst of ideas goes away.”
All of a sudden I wanted to write everything. I wanted to share everything. And every idea I had was a good one, or one with potential. Every thought I had was too precious to lose to sleep because I’ve been so hard up for motivating ideas that I refused to let any go. If I hadn’t been so tired, and if I hadn’t rationally known that I needed to catch at least a few Zs if I wanted to even pretend to function, then I’d have run right back out to the keyboard and pounded out something, anything.
The last time I looked at the clock just before finally reaching unconsciousness, it was after 8 am.
Having nothing to do today, I woke up around 12:30. My near-uncontainable enthusiasm about the things I wrote in that notebook has settled, but my overall optimism about what I might accomplish while in Starman–mode again is still there, somewhere behind the dark eye circles.
So we’ll see.