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My Personal Side

By Craig Hastings
Most of us have a favorite time of the day. Some may have a couple of different times of the day they look forward too. Those favorite hours might even change from day to day. Probably, if you’re working, the best parts of your days change when you’re off work. All of this sounds the reasonable assumption of the American way of life, right? Then why in the world is my favorite time of the day not during the day at all but at night? Specifically 11:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. is when my fire is burning blue flames, my boiler at full steam, my sun shining the brightest…at night! Remember I suffered a traumatic brain injury many years ago and that event did cause my brain to flip flop my days and nights which causes the rest of me to want to sleep when I need to stay awake. This happens fewer and fewer days as the years go by. However, even before this accident occurred I still looked forward to the last hour of every day the most.

My mom tagged me with “night owl” when I was little because after dark was when I became the most active. When the rest of the kids in our house were sleeping, I was up or trying not to get caught being up when I was supposed to be in bed asleep. This would make sense if I was working evening shifts regularly which I don’t. I’ll work Friday night patrol shifts when I’m not trying to burn unused vacation time or maybe a Saturday patrol shift. As a matter of fact I worked last Saturday night until about 12:30 a.m. And guess what I did after I got home that night? I stayed up until 3:00 a.m. doing things I would have starting doing at 11:00 p.m. had I been home. You would think after six hours in a patrol car I would go straight to bed and asleep. Oh I went to bed all right but I didn’t shut the TV off until 2:30 a.m.

Each of the two cats want their share of attention from me and my son’s chinchilla starts making some kind of barking noise if I completely ignore him before the lights are turned off. Payton used to tend to this guy until Payton moved into the basement a couple of months ago. The chinchilla needs sunlight, at least thirty minutes of exercise a day, and socialization each day to stay mentally healthy and exercise to stay physically fit. These things won’t happen if he has to stay in the basement so, he’s upstairs with me most of the time. Both cats are also more active at night after they’ve finished sleeping all day long. I figured out years ago what they do. They prowl around for bugs, kill them, and leave the bugs remains for me to pick up the next day. I’ll hear them chasing each other up and down the stairs after midnight many nights also.

Three or four nights a week I lift weights in my back garage. Not to wonder why the back garage. It’s every bit as much a house inside as the main house is. I’ll start in around 10:00 p.m. and finish with a walk around the neighborhood. I’ll usually be back in the house by 11:30 p.m. I’ll shower, go to bed after, and watch two recorded television programs that auto recorded earlier in the evening. There was a time many years ago I did all of this late afternoon or early evening. What happened I have no idea. I have zero motivation to exercise or move around much at all during the day unless I’m at work. This time of season, summer/fall, I will water plants and flowers in the early evening but I know that’s only because they’ll die if I don’t.

I’ve been writing this column for the newspaper for fourteen years and never have I started one before 10:00 p.m. at night. I’ve tried. The words just won’t fit together and make it to the keyboard unless I wait until late at night. I always know when its time. Whatever it was I intended to write about floods my brain in a big rush, ready to go, can’t type fast enough, but not until it’s late, it’s dark, and I’m alone. Weird? Yep for sure. You tell me why because I have no idea. Maybe it’s one for Dr. Phil to figure out? So there you go. Whether you wanted to or not, you know a little more about my personal side if you finished this. It felt good not to talk about politics and the sad state of affairs our Federal government is in. Well it’s now 12:10 a.m. and I can think of three more things I want to get done before lying in bed and watching one of my favorite sci-fi movies tonight/this morning/ whatever it is.

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