Tuesday, November 23, 2004

I'm up late again, or early. I can't really call myself an insomniac since I get plenty of sleep. Today, that sleep occurred mostly during the day, but it was so dreary and grey it just felt like the right thing to do. I was up for a couple hours, then donned my fuzzy robe and stretched out on the couch. Atticus took advantage and stretched out across me, and the two of us were out in no time. I finally made it to Starbucks at seven in the evening where I read the beginnings of Making a Literary Life. It was an impulse buy when I worked at Barnes and Noble, and now I have time to read it. Sometimes, I like to read about writing whether I intend to write or not. My guilty pleasure of late has been reading Dean Koontz. Yeah, I know.

Shut up.

The man can tell a good story though, and they are quick reads. Perfect for late night reading in bed. Perfect. I've been known to have dark thoughts at night, and I'd rather they be those of someone else.

Oddly though, my neighbors all seem to be night people as well. The two above me seem to keep my schedule, up until wee hours and quiet during the morning until noon. Sometimes I hear them bringing the dogs for a walk anytime between three and five in the morning, if I'm up. In that case, I'm not alone and it is comforting to hear them up. The guy on my floor, who has replaced Emily, is a very sweet guy who works as a heart surgery nurse at Johns Hopkins, and his hours are at night for the most part I believe. Talk about a tough job. Smart guy who told me of the history of many medical marvels created at Johns Hopkins. Most of the wealthy doctors lived right here in Bolton Hill. It's evident in the colossal Victorian mansions that line the streets. Blue plaques adorn many of the homes where there is historical significance. Many are because of the medical achievements of past occupants.My apartment is huge, and it's only half of one floor. I even have a foyer that is easily ten feet long, and three and a half feet wide.

Also adding to the nocturnal beat is MICA, where I want to take a spring class. Whenever I'm up, I find comfort in knowing that the art students are likely up, working on assignments due tomorrow. Some of them work late at the school, others in their apartments. I just wish I could see them as it makes it easier for me to get into bed. I feel as if I have to keep watch, a sentinel for things that go bump in the night. If others are up, I can relieve myself of duty. My aversion to bed is a holdover from waking up on the morning of September 11th. Since then, it's been hard for me to for lack of a better word, retire. And that means, retiring my mind for the night and handing it over to sleep. When I lived with my mom and Jack, the dorm was right across the alley from the bedroom that I slept in, and I could see the students up and working. It was a sign that things were fine. The girl below me is a MICA graduate student, and I know she must keep some late nights.

My goal is to get myself into bed earlier, as I have no reason to stay up late. Whether I sleep is not the issue, I just think that I should be in bed by a certain time. Then, I can read or listen to the radio. Perhaps over time I'll even be able to fall asleep earlier.

Dan was here this week and it was great as usual. We spent some time together and he showed me his resume that he altered to reflect his new career goals. We went to Starbucks and spoke, and it occurred to me that this very accomplished person valued my opinion on his resume. Occasionally I get reminders that I have things to offer at a high level. And sitting there, I all of a sudden remembered that I was smart. Yes, I know I'm smart, but this was a different kind of smart that I too many times forget that I am. I will explain more about this later.

And for those of you who asked, I didn't make the deadline. Considering that David Simon's company is called Blown Deadline Productions, perhaps I was just fitting in. I got a little more work thrown my way, and with the other stuff, it was just too much to hit the deadline. On Friday, I was sitting at my desk working frantically, when realized that was stupid. No one needed what I was working on until next season, and everyone had left. The holidays were approaching, and no one cared whether I got it done by Friday except for me. Also, I was alone in an entire building in a remote industrial area, where it was very obvious that there was only one car in the parking lot. I packed everything up, incredibly pissed off but in a way relieved, and left. I'll get it done, but I want a rest first. Especially with Thanksgiving coming up.

As I was working, the cleaning lady told me again what a nice person I was. She had mentioned that when she thought she wasn't going to see me again. I'm not sure where she and her daughter are from, but they work their asses off. I don't think they are Mexican, but are probably closer to the equator than that. Certainly Latin, just not sure from where. I meant to ask, but never got the chance. If I had to guess, I'd say Bolivia or Ecuador. Her daughter is very shy, perhaps because she hasn't commanded English as well as her mother.

I've just polished off a late night Amaretto on the rocks. A little drink to soothe the soul and stave off the dark thoughts. Again, a topic for another time. Right now, Dean Koontz awaits.

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