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,
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.”