Nocturnal Me.

Sleep has been eluding me, my friends, for about a week now. It’s 5:40 Am and, just like every night recently, I find myself gazing at myself in the mirror that sits across from my bed, holding staring contests with myself. So far, it’s been a standoff.

I’ve always jokingly said that I’m just nocturnal. Whenever I haven’t got somewhere to be in the mornings, I find myself staying up later and later into the evenings, until it becomes like this when I couldn’t even get to sleep before 3 AM if I wanted to.

We used to live in a pretty big house out in the country, and I remember sneaking downstairs (though I’m sure my parents weren’t unawares, really) and watching cartoons all night every weekend, challenging myself to stay up past midnight, past 1 AM, past — gasp! — 2, 3, 4, and even once, one glorious saturday morning, staying up and meeting the sun as it rose up over the hedge-apple row. I remember slowly opening the front door (it must have been around 5:30) and walking out onto the concrete sidewalk that went out to the driveway — the ground was too cold for my bare feet and I wanted to rush back inside, but everything was so beautiful: The Sun rising in the east, over the hedgerow (“Don’t go there — snakes”) and butterflies in the field that sloped down along the long drive to the highway. There was corn in the field out to the west that year, and even though I wouldn’t dare go out into the corn rows at night for fear of monsters and axe-murderers, there in the morning light and the cold, crisp air the smell of the still-green ears rushed into my lungs like a drug.

On the nights when my resolve wasn’t so firm, I’d lay down a blanket on the floor in front of the TV and nod off to whatever I’d found on the Satellite, to be found in the morning and shooed off by my mother, or by the sound of my grandparents driving up the lane ready to take me to church.

Those were the times when I saw my first episode of Star Trek. It was the TOS episode “The Apple,” the one with the lizard-headed cave and the orange-skinned “humanoid primitives.” It was also when I saw reruns of Tales from the Crypt and Back to the Future.

It was also the first time (to the horror of my parents, I’m sure) that I saw string bikinis (thanks to Starz’s late-nite lineup–I was scandalized), fuzzy soft-core, and B horror flicks and Audrie Hepburn and — AND — Tom Cruise’s pre-Scientology wonder-thighs and the gay fantasy nerd wet dream that is the film Legend.

…I suppose I could go on about this for a great long while, but there wouldn’t be much point to it. I’ve just noticed the daylight coming in the window now, just like that day when I was 8. I’m not what you’d call a “Morning Person,” but I do love these few moments when I’m still awake and the world around me is just waking up. Hmm… Anyway, it’d be nice if my nocturnal nature didn’t kick in the week before finals!


Have a nice week. Light a candle for Japan.


About John Harness
John Harness is an artist and educator in Chicago. He is a member of Socialist Alternative and the Klingon Language Institute. He writes about political activism and roleplaying games.

One Response to Nocturnal Me.

  1. "Rafe" says:

    Good-Dark to you,
    Its called “Delayed Sleep Phase Disorder”. Its considered a circadian rhythem sleep disorder OR DSPS (Syndrome)… but with the bias of the diurnal crowd we are victimized to the point where the night was pretty, contemplative, beautiful, quiet, happy and stuff, until they showed up.

    Its not a disease, so no, there is no cure. Light Therapy, Melatonin, B12, Martial Law-ish Sleep Schedule for the rest of your “life”…
    … or, Carpe Nox.
    We are on FaceBook (Niteowl: DSPS- Delayed Sleep-Phase Syndrome for example), YahooGroups, “Wikipedia (Night owl (person)”… so no, not alone… more support group then celebratory but still; its nice to know you are not the only one with N’th “problem”.

    No, I did not write the page, I just recommend it. “Nocturnal Society”:


    PS – “n24″/”non24” is the label for those who do not really have a circadian rhythem at all; just like a broken clock their sleep/wake cycle is accurate a few days a month.

    Other then that, no, we are not “anti-sunlight” or vampire wannabe’s… its a biological thing not a psycosis. It becomes depressing because most people are awake at night, only on the internet, and nothing is open exept dennys wall fart, and drunk people, and the nifty parks close at sunset so true nature hikes/worship cant happen in the Sacred Dark.

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