It’s about this time of night when I get a little chatty. Sadly, since Other Half is in bed because he must arise to instruct the Future of America in the early morning, I am left to my own devices. I usually stare at the phone and the clock, performing a mental calculation in my head (which is where most mental conversations and calculations take place.) Are they awake? It’s 10:30pm, too late for a casual call. It’s 11:30pm, she’s called me that late, may I call her? In the summer, I’d just invite people over to spend a long evening deep in conversation over platters of summer food. Now that the temperatures are sinking below freezing and the nights are still short of light, everyone curls into a little mute cocoon.
Over in my neck of the woods, I just can’t kill the night owl. I have a pile of laundry to fold, a kitchen to clean, and maybe a sleep-wrecking square of chocolate to devour.
People call me all day long. They call to ask me directions (I am a human GPS, apparently.) My friends call to ask about cooking, ingredients, movies, even ‘who was that one guy that was in that one movie’ (Clive Owen, Children of Men.) This late at night, though, who can I call? Some of my favorite people (you know who you are) dislike talking on the phone no matter the hour. Unless I’m stuck under a fallen column, or under a cloud of postpartum depression, I want to talk to you. So, why don’t you leave your number with area code in my comments so that I can—just kidding. I kill me.
Are there any of you for whom a call after the obligatory 9PM cutoff point is fine and dandy? Do you panic if the phone starts ringing at 11:45PM? As much as I like to listen to Fresh Air or This American Life, sometimes there is just nothing like talking to another person. Does that sound melancholic? I don’t mean it to be. I guess the writer’s strike is beginning to give me melancholia (curable by frontal lobotomy, I watched it on PBS last night.) The strike is also giving me pains in the eyeballs, drop me a line, I’ll tell you all about it.