J's Page

For when I need more than 140 characters to finish a thought on marketing, media or message.

Nocturnal Admissions

Leave a comment

(ED’S NOTE: Originally posted on my Tumblr.)

There is no escaping them.

The vampires are everywhere these days. My husband has to read about them — whether he wants to or not. (That’s OK; I have to read about the oil spill whether I want to or not, so we’re even.)

At times during the Twilight madness, I’ve mocked the vampires — and the werewolves — and I did so in fun, not as to alienate any of my friends who enjoy the Twilight series.

I feel I need to explain that my deep-seated opposition to the vampires stems from my own largely nocturnal life. I work until 1 a.m. or later, sometimes much later, and it makes for a weird life. A very weird life. I’m quite confident my neighbors thought I was a hooker when we first moved in. Or that I ran an underground saloon, or something equally unsavory. I’m still trying to figure out how to dispel the myth that we’re meth cookers: The kitchen lights are frequently on until 4:30 a.m. or later. (I’m convinced — for better or worse — that Day People can’t possibly believe that anything legal is going on in a kitchen in the predawn darkness.)

Each workday I hurry out of the house just as the cul-de-sac begins to fill with crabby commuters who have already served their daily eight hours. After I do my time, I drive home following roads that wind through a soundly sleeping world punctuated by occasional signs of life and light. I would love to tell you that it’s a special time of night, but mostly it’s strange and a little frightening. My drive home isn’t long, but every car I meet is a threat: The driver is likely either drunk or texting — at least that’s what I believe. The few of us out there aren’t waging any noble battles against evil. There’s no bodice-ripping or neck-nuzzling or passionate and lustful staring. (Twilight fans, blame the studio marketers: This is what I’ve picked up from the movie trailers.)

Just trust me when I say, there’s really nothing erotic about haunting the aisles of Kroger at 2 a.m., and stalking a can of Chili-Lime Almonds isn’t all that forbidden.

My 2 a.m. is a Day Person’s 7 p.m., which means my 4 a.m. is Day Person’s 9 p.m. And I’m betting most Day People cannot or do not go to bed at 9 p.m. I’m relieved when I can get to bed by 2:30 a.m. And please don’t tell me to go to bed as soon as I get home: Could you sleep when you got home at 6:30? Thought not.

When my brain finally turns off, sleep does come, and I’m happy to say it’s without any aid — although Benadryl has been a friend in the past. I’m usually excited to wake up because I do enjoy the daylight. Unlike a vampire, I need the daylight.

Daylight’s aplenty, now that summer’s here, and I’m reminded of my night life’s few perks: I can spend happy hours in my amateur’s garden before I leave for work, mostly trying to remember what I planted where and when I last watered. I can chase shadows through my neighborhood, the sun sometimes my friend, sometimes my enemy. At work, there’s an easy, melodic chatter that’s not there in other seasons: excitement about this trip, that reunion, any given Saturday. After sundown, deadlines come and go, and the world falls asleep.

Later, in your tomorrow’s most silent hours, I sit on my porch and watch the few fireflies that are also still awake. I watch until the last one blinks goodbye, and then I go to bed. The sun’s first rays remind me I need to sleep well and fast. And I do.

Author: Jacqui Barrineau

Jacqui Barrineau is a writer and editor who lives in the suburbs of Washington, D.C., with husband Trey, a Shetland Sheepdog, and two unhelpful-but-funny cats. Her work has appeared in "So to Speak" and "Calliope," and she's a regular contributor to the flash-fiction sites Paragraph Planet and Doorknobs & Bodypaint. Once upon a time, she was the audience engagement editor at USA Today. Now she does other fun things that involve advertising, marketing and social media. The views expressed here and in other outlets are hers, not her employers'. Outside of work, she's proud to serve on the Northern Virginia Community College Marketing Advisory Committee. As a committee member, she joins industry leaders in lending their knowledge and expertise to ensure the college's Marketing curriculum is relevant and responsive to the needs of the students and the surrounding business communities.

Talk to me!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s