Saturday, February 23, 2013

Strange Tidings of the Midnight Hour


By JccKeith

I find that today, according to my calendar, is Saturday and this entitles me to an opinion or a rant, whichever.  This day started out like any other as in upon the stroke of midnight I was nowhere near my bed or sleep.  No I was on the couch typing away on my laptop and whiling away the darkened hours in the pursuit of writing some brilliant piece of literature.

As the clock crept eerily towards four and then five a.m. I had a moment of clarity, an epiphany really.  It was like one of those moments in a movie when they close up on the main character and everything else just falls into the background like white noise.  

There I was sitting on my couch with the sound of the intro to Gnomeo and Juliet playing over and over on a television in a bedroom upstairs, Don Johnson and Phillip Michael Thomas chatting about busting some crook with some crack on the television in the living room, an angry adolescent voice balking at some players online about some Playstation 3 game off in a more distant upstairs bedroom and the microwave beeping relentlessly to let me know my tea was finished being irradiated in the kitchen.  Then suddenly it all just faded into white noise.

I turned to the sleeping dog at my feet to see if she too could feel the waves of brilliance washing over me.  No response.  I turned to my cat sleeping as usual beside my head on the arm of the couch.  The slight lift of her head in response to the turn of mine served only to notify me that I had rippled her pond by disturbing her peaceful slumber.  No matter.  Forget my pets and their lack of perception.  I was enlightened. 

Newly gifted with wondrous ideas I could scarcely type fast enough to get them all down as they cascaded in a seemingly endless stream through my mind.  Page after page after page spilled forth as my weary fingers tried to keep pace.  Morning light of the rising sun began at last to filter through the blinds of my picture window and I glanced furtively at the clock.  Viewing the three glimmering white digits in horror I realized the hour was near when I would be forced to turn the computer off.
At any moment the house would come alive with the sounds of my family waking up from their long night’s sleep.  I would return once again to the world of magic marshmallow peddling leprechauns, fruity birds with loops, and colorful rice that isn’t rice peddled by stone age cartoons.  Milk would be poured, silverware would be used, dishes would get dirty and life would go on as usual in this house of mine.

Terror seized me at that moment as I realized today was not like any other day.  Today was a weekend.  It was Saturday.  Oh horror what cruel twist of fate for me.  The kids would not be packed and off to school after breakfast. 

No not on this day.  Today they would eat and be merry all morning here in the house until at last it would be time for the basketball game.  I felt a sickening dread at the thought of that tiny gymnasium filled with screaming infants and toddlers, frustrated parents and young kids with more energy than any human could possibly need being given basketballs to propel at one another and the unsuspecting crowd on occasion.

It was one thing to attend these sporting events after a decent few hours of sleep.  But I had been up all night, compelled to continue my typing by unusual inspiration.  Was this the price of brilliance?  Sacrifices must be made, the gods of writing must be paid but this was too much.  To add to the strain, there was a birthday party to attend later in the afternoon for yet another child and grocery shopping had to be done as well. 

Grocery shopping on a Saturday afternoon is like playing bumper cars because the stores are packed and people are pushy and rude with their carts - just as likely to plow overtop of you to reach what they want than ask you politely to get out of their way.  Sticky fingered and snot nosed children wander unattended through the aisles amid the steady stream of silver carts threatening to mow them down at any moment.  It truly is a madhouse. 

So how then did I handle this fun filled day you ask?  And what pray tell was my wondrous epiphany?  Well I handled today like a pro because that’s what moms do. I weathered the cries and whines and rudeness of children and adults with grace and patience. 

I was able to do this because as the clock struck five a.m. this morning I had an epiphany of great importance.  I saw clearly in my mind the trials and tribulations of the day unfolding in just the manner I described.  I could see myself staying up all night penning the greatest most epic story ever known to mankind and then suffering for it the entire day.

I wagered that the chances I might produce such a worthwhile epic were slim to none as I have stayed up all night several times in such hopes and to no avail.  However, I knew the chances of there being screaming kids and crabby parents at the game to be 100%.  I also knew the chances of the grocery store being empty and waiting only for my patronage to be 0%.  The odds were not in my favor.  So I turned off my laptop at five a.m. and went to bed that I might gain a few hours of sleep to be better prepared for this day. 

Per chance I will fare better on another night in the efforts to pen the next masterpiece of literature.

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