“Shouldn’t you be in bed?” or “It’s late.” or my perennial favourite, “You have to work tomorrow.” These are things I have heard when, rightly, I should be in bed but am fussing around with something. In the past, these things could be video games, or models, or jigsaw puzzles, or episodes of some show I was binge watching. These days, more often than not, it is my blog that sees me burn the midnight oil.
Part of the problem is that I can’t really control when the idea comes to me. I hadn’t planned on writing anything today for this blog. (Don’t worry, there was most likely a Perfect Moment today, but my recollection on this lazy Saturday is drawing a blank.) In fact, there are a few things that I could be doing. I’ve got a couple of things I could be reading. I could also be doing some planning for next week’s teaching. The Olympics are on TV, too. I suppose, I could also be sleeping.
Now, here I am, after midnight, with a driveway full of snow I have put off shovelling until I need to go out tomorrow, writing a very imprecise and underwhelming blog about blogging when I should be sleeping. I suppose there is some irony there, whether I see it or not.
There is something about the image of a writer at his or her desk, letting the idea bleed onto the pages, that I find appealing and even romantic. That same writer struggling over ever word, every nuance, every rhythm…..Maybe it is too Hemingwayesque. Maybe it is too retro. That same desk now contains a computer or smartphone. There might not even be a desk.
As for the hour, maybe it is no longer strange. Maybe, thanks to the internet, this time is no longer the domain of the artist. Maybe now, the hour of where we are is less important than the hour of where we send our work.
As I said, I hadn’t planned on writing anything, and I am not even sure that I have. I was brushing my teeth when the title appeared in my head. I tried to shake it, but it wouldn’t go away. I tried writing it down and promising myself that I would take care of it while I drank my morning coffee tomorrow morning. That didn’t seem to help. I tried thinking of something else, but instead started writing my Weird Al parody of Judas Priest’s “Living After Midnight” using this blog’s title. I guess some demons just need exorcising.