Ruminations at The Witching Hour

A peculiar group of people exists in the world that has a different sleeping routine than the rest of the population. Those who find that the numbers of hours in the day are simply not enough to complete the never ending lists of tasks, start to dig into their stocks of reserves of time, and find themselves more and more familiar with the witching hour, a time of night when supernatural creatures come out to play, when the witches and goblins of the world run rampant through the streets, shadowed by the cloak of the night, to do mischief and snatch children from their beds. However, the troubled souls who do stay up late until the night are probably at the age where they no longer believe in such nonsense, designed to spook the young or faint of heart. The practice of staying up late is similar to gambling or drinking – a behavior that once becomes habit is nearly impossible to shake off. The symptoms of this type of harmful behavior are obvious, characterized by the dark circles under the eyes, the haggard, pallid appearance. The habit of staying up late is like a slow, sneaky, insidious shadow, creeping up on the unsuspecting victim. At first the change is gradual – the slight glazing over of the eyes during classes, the faint beginnings of purple shadows under the eyes; until it becomes more conspicuous – the obvious nodding off during lessons, the constant carrying around of a thermos of coffee which one will sip from religiously, the empty, vacant expression… When one develops this habit, a trail of others follow-procrastination, enervation, capitulation… It is unclear precisely why we humans do this to ourselves; perhaps it is a need to prove our dedication, or a faint bid to a sop to a loss of freedom. But as we retreat more and more each day into the witching hour, we find a comfort that nothing in the light of day could possibly afford us, despite all its promises of new beginnings.

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