4:30 Is The New 7:30
4:30 is the new 7:30. At least my brain seems to think so. Without fail, my grey cerebrum nudges me wide awake at the hour of witching sweetness. Whatever dream I am having vanishes from memory like soap suds in sunlight. It was not so long ago that I remember having no trouble falling straight back into sweet oblivion. But now when I’m awake, it’s 4:30 and brain thinks that’s fine. I try pretending I’m going to fall asleep real soon if I can blank out my mind and freeze all thinking; if I don’t move and ignore that itch on my thigh. Hold on now, ignore it. Come on, don’t think about thinking about the itch. Quiet. Ah, damn it I have to scratch it. I scratch one itch and more arise like stress pimples on the face, ugly and bothersome, much so that I have to scratch them all. The itches like ghosts finally cease, skulking back to the cavern they came out from possibly to be regenerated like Prometheus’ liver for the next night. What secrets of the gods did I steal to be punished so?
Soon, I realise how uncomfortable I’ve been lying in bed. I shift the body, move my legs, re-position my neck. I stop lying on my hand because it, the hand, is going to sleep. Very funny. It’s now an hour gone and the room is too hot. I get up and open the door. A couple of minutes later and I’ve already heard a car and a motor bike engine start. I shut the door.
I’ve now given up trying to sleep again once I’m up. I get up without making a fuss of it, head for the kitchen and switch on the coffee machine. The lights go on and I drag out my books. I read. It’s beautifully quiet at 4:30 in the morning. Out the window I might sight a fox but most mornings there’s nothing but nothing. The brain is fired up working like a bull to a red flag. Information jumps the synapses as free and easy as child laughter. When 7:30 comes round I’ve already learned a few new things. I’m also now really ready to sleep except I have to go to work. I stroll into the office at nine o’clock and I can tell some colleagues think me the lazy bee from their “Good afternoons”. But I’m the one who’s been up since forever.