The Hour From Night to Day…The Hollow Hour…

There’s a playlist I sometimes forget about that I made on YouTube…

I recently watched what I now consider to be my favorite Ted Talk to date.  It is titled “Rives: The Museum of Four in the Morning” and it’s about our fascination with this obscure moment of time when all should be quietly asleep and the general absurdity of someone being up and about at this “ungodly” hour.  It is the perfect embodiment of storytelling at it’s finest, I highly recommend that anybody watch it. (Fair warning, it’s 14 minutes. But I guarantee you won’t notice a second of the time go by.)  Afterward I kinda looked around a little for personal references to this “4 a.m.” in my life and was somewhat disappointed to not find any.

This playlist I have on YouTube is the only one I have marked to private.  It’s a collection of songs roughly 2 hours long that will rip your heart out while cradling the back of your head and whispering in your ear as you lie on your back in the middle of the floor.

There’s a comfort in the familiarity of sadness and sorrow.  A place to look forward to.  Where everything is soft and dreamy.  I used to drink, a lot.  I would drink until I found this state of sleepiness and consciousness.  This place in the dark with the stars glittering overhead, some margin of not quite in the ocean but not fully on dry sand.  Soft warm waves would roll in one at a time and wrap you in them, lifting you up as if to carry you out to sea.  And then just as gently as they rolled in they softly lay you back down in the bubbling sand, only to return to rock you blissfully in that dreamy state of comfortable sorrow.  It’s as if the moon was looking down from above at you in the middle of the night, tucking you in to sleep, pulling the covers over you, over and over again while rocking you to sleep in the ebb of her tides.

Sometimes when I’m looking for some preferred music to listen to, be it to entertain or just as some background noise while I go about my chores, I scroll past this old playlist.  It makes me yearn for those moments of security and comfort and I want to go back there to wrap myself up and hide.

In the city I live in on any given day, there’s a good million or so people coming and going from the surrounding areas.  Either for work or school or shopping, leisure, recreation, what have you.  A large portion of those people traverse the road out in-front of my house.  It’s a busy road even at night.  Except between the hours of 3 and 5 a.m.  It can get down to dead silent during those two hours.  And there it is, right in the middle, 4 in the morning.  How does one get to that perfect moment of silence, that calm of peace and quiet between 3 and 5 in the morning?

Tonight I scrolled past that playlist again.  That 2 hour playlist I started so many years ago.  The name I gave that playlist, what I filed it under, it’s titled 2:00 a.m.”   Named thus for the time of night I felt I could slip away to hide by myself in the surf of that sea of solitude, sorrow and safety.  Two hours of soul caressing, heart dripping music to take me by the hand and lead me to that magical hour of Four in the Morning. 

That hour where if I could pause time I would.

That hour where I didn’t care if I lived or died.

That hour where I could leave this world behind.

That hour where I have lived a thousand lifetimes of pain.

That hour where in the hollow oblivion of emotions and memories, the Moon could cradle me forever and ferry me to the other side of the river,

to sleep,

safely,

sound and secure.

Oh how I long for that hour…..

 

 

this is the last song at the bottom of that playlist, “2:00 a.m.” 

‘ol Crook Tail

 

 

There was this one time, I was asleep in bed.  I always slept late…..Real late, past noon late.

When all of of sudden I awoke to screams.  This was in a split second.  I mean it was ten, maybe a hundred times faster than when I got in the car wreck.

The best I could decipher was that there was a gaggle of kids 4-6 years old in the backyard and they were all getting sucked into a wood chipper or something all at once.  Seriously, it was like the seventh level of hell.  I’m not kidding.

Anyhow, I shot up like a rattlesnake and bolted through the house towards the backdoor.  I don’t even remember that part.  I ran so fast that the blanket I was sleeping under stuck to me like I was trying to run through it.

Within an instant I was at the backdoor and there she was, standing.  My baby, my doll, the most precious thing in the world to me.

The dog was on the other side of her jumping back and forth, barking and screaming at the door.  My girl was completely flustered and trying to get around the dog.

That’s when the blanket dropped to the floor, and I realized all the commotion was coming from the cat.  Apparently when the three of them were coming back inside from a nice afternoon in the yard, the aluminum screen door had caught the cat’s tail when it bounced to shut before letting the air out of that little arm at the bottom of the door that looks like a piston and keeps it from slamming shut and cracking the storm window.

That poor cat was caught right there at the hinge with all the weight of the door pinching it’s tail in the metal door frame.

The foyer to the backdoor was more like a narrow hallway and I couldn’t get past my girl.  She had no idea what the cat was going on about and thought the cat and dog just erupted into a fight for their lives.

So I put my hands under her arms and picked her up then backed up and set her behind me in the kitchen then reached out to push the door open and release the poor cat.  We had adopted the cat about a year ago when we had noticed it hiding in the tall grass of a vacant house stalking grasshoppers and mice as we strolled past on the way to work.

We would bring leftover pieces of salmon or tuna, maybe some steak we saved from the trash bin and leave it in the empty driveway on the way home.  Eventually it started following us home and sitting outside on the window sill in the evenings.  She was jet back and made a perfect silhouette in the window.  It was Halloween time and it just seemed apropos to let her stay.  She soon became part of the household and best friends with our dog.

We had a little shih tzu and they would chase each other around the yard taking turns tackling each other in the clover and then shoot off in the other direction, waiting for the other to give chase.  It was really cute, and they loved each other.

Back to the moment at hand though.  There we were, wide eyed at all the excitement, my girl still trying to figure out what had happened and me standing there stark naked with a quilt on the floor ready to give my life and fight hordes of demons and throw my body into a wood chipper to save little children and my darling love from impending doom.  Our dog was looking around trying to find the culprit that had attacked her best friend, the cat.  Who had shot off like a rocket the second her tail was free from the door.

We didn’t see the cat for about three days or so maybe even a week when she came home one day to get her dinner.  There was no noticeable difference in her demeanor or attitude and she was just fine.  With one exception, the end of her tail was bent off to the side at an angle and over the coming months continued to heal that way.

I miss my darling love and cherish the memories we created in our little house, it was a beautiful time, as was she.  I’m sorry I let you leave that night, I hope you can love me where you are now the way I still love you.

I miss you so much Rosie.

 

 

A Girl Named Whiskey

What if I hadn’t asked you to give me a ride that day?

To go and have a beer?

What if you had said no?

What if you had just dropped me off?

What if you had never moved here?

What if you were somebody else?

Would we still have met?

Would I still have loved you the same?

Would you still haunt my memories like a wine stain on my soul?

Would I still see you everywhere I go?

Everywhere I look?

Everytime I think?

Would I still yearn to hear your voice, your laugh?

See your eyes looking into mine, breathing your breath,

Biting my lip, holding you close.

Would I have died? Should I have died?

Is there anything that can drown you out of my head,

My memories, my heart. Or is that it?

Is that all I get?  This awful pain,

Missing you, wanting you, aching out for you?

Or do I just call you whiskey…………………………….