4:30 am

I’m not a morning person. I don’t like getting up early and never have.

From Weather Underground

Due to having recently moved from the East Coast to the West Coast, not to mention my kind of weird schedule currently, I’ve been sleeping (and waking up) at weird hours. Sometimes I’ll fall asleep at 3am and sleep till 11. Sometimes I’m up until 6 and wake up past noon. Other times I’m tired at 9pm and go to sleep then, only to wake up in the ridiculous hours of the morning.

I’m writing this at one of those times. It’s 4:30 am, and I’m awake. There is no alone like waking up in your bed by yourself at 4:30 am. Even River, ever hyper and prone to waking up at a moment’s notice, is completely asleep. It will still be a while yet before anything opens, so I can’t very well get up and get breakfast– even the late-night places are closed at this hour.

It’s not a time I see very often on the waking-up side. Usually, if I am awake at this time, it’s because I’m catching a flight. I associate this time with that little thrill of anticipation, of an adventure not quite hatched, but right now there’s not really any adventure waiting.

Perhaps fittingly, it’s also a time I associate with conversations. Being awake at a silly hour with someone else and talking; some of my most cherished conversations are borne of this hour. It’s when I get wordy and philosophical– I’ve been accused of brooding, which is probably accurate (I am writing this post, aren’t I?).

I’ve done a lot of driving at 4:30 am,  getting up for no good reason and driving around aimlessly until the sun comes up, dodging the morning rush. It’s more satisfying on weekdays, I’m not sure why. Things are quieter, maybe.

Now that I’m on the West Coast, 4:30 for me is 7:30 for a number of my friends, and they’re sometimes already up and chatting. It’s an immense relief for me. I sleep with my phone and a tablet next to the bed for that connection, early in the morning. There are precious few people who get to have your attention at 4:30 am, and being in touch with people for whom it isn’t 4:30 am makes that awareness easier. Unless it’s an emergency or some special occasion, most people would not be interested in talking at 4:30 am unless they’re really, really close to you.

Perhaps weirdly, I cherish the moment. The intense sense of being alone makes me appreciate the times when I’m not. It’s a balance thing. I wouldn’t mind for an instant if I didn’t have it, but since it’s here I might as well make the best of it.

I have things to do today, and it’s almost light out. I can probably rouse the puppy and then go get breakfast, turning the 4:30 am melancholy into an actual, functional day. There’s no alone like 4:30 am, but it does make me appreciate the rest of the day.

Thanks for reading.

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