Oddly Quiet Hours

Logically, every day is as long as another.

Each one has twenty-four hours, and unlike a few ancient cultures I could name, our hours do not stretch or shrink with the seasons. Our hours are exact stretches of time, guaranteeing that every day is the same length as the one that preceded it.

And yet, I doubt it.

I wake up some mornings and discover that it will only last a few hours. I will call it morning for four hours, because I have mentally adjusted to believing that is what you call the first four hours you are awake. But someone will kindly, with that sort of squint-eyed head-of-the-class confidence, inform me that it is three in the afternoon. I will understand, but never be able to get it to feel like three in the afternoon.

In fact, I will turn my evening into my afternoon. Then my night into my evening. Then I will wonder what it is so dark out, and what I am supposed to do now that all my friends have gone to bed and I still feel like reading in my comfy chair, laughing out loud at a movie, beating them at cards, playing charades, baking fresh brownies, rearranging the furniture, cleaning the attic, learning Italian, teaching the dog new tricks…

I will wonder how my day became so much longer than theirs.

And, in the lonely, oddly quiet hours that should not seem so haunted-house-still, I will decide that I should go to bed.

So that I will have a morning tomorrow.

So that I will have an afternoon.

So that I will have an evening.

So that I will have a night.

So that I won’t be staring at this clock wondering if it’s really too late to start the laundry while I watch the next three hours of this television show and knit a sweater.


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