It’s Tuesday. It’s midnight. Infomercials abound, and the thought of twiddling one’s thumbs seems so mundane. There are ridiculous things to get into after midnight. Even as others sleepily float into their dreamlands, there’s no reason to leave dreamlands for the sleepers.
The fridge has been raided to barrenness, and even the peanut butter jar is fingered clean. Google has been searched and searched again: “uses for carrots” and “how to buy a cow.” A dozen one-sided conversations have been voiced into the air, questions waiting for answers. Every online quiz has been taken and absurdly answered, and the internet seems to have run thin of ideas.
There’s nothing wrong with making up a cup of cocoa, adding a little punch, and sitting on the patio to watch the stars shoot across the sky. Write a letter to your enemy and burn it in effigy, or write to the one that got away and burn it all the same. After the bonfire is blazing, start climbing the tallest tree in the yard. No one is awake to watch and taunt when your adventure comes to an abrupt end, taking a harsh, jerky tumble down and into the grass.
There is also the random bothering of friends. Message them all at the same time. Or pick a special someone not spoken to in a while and let them know that they are on someone’s mind. Clean out contact lists and friends online or find new ones to add that have been met along the way.
Once you’ve observed all the social niceties, you might organize the house. Alphabetize the closet and pantry. Line up spices according to meal plans. Wipe the detritus out of the fridge and know true joy when you find there was one last sweet snack hiding behind that nasty bag of lettuce you promised yourself you’d eat this week. Throw old things away and let memories go. Midnight is the witching hour; after burning the past, one might as well throw it away, too.
There are thousands of movies people are planning to watch. Pick the one that looks silliest. If you’re right, enjoy the laughter bubbling forth and exhausting the system. Maybe choose a book with dust on it and flip through the pages. You’ll soon remember why you never finished it the first time. Throw it away.
When the time has come that watching for UFOs is the best option left, try to doze off once more. And for the love of God, skip the prank phase. No toilet paper thrown on the neighbor’s balcony or false alarm pregnancy announcements on social media.
Or go for it if you can’t help yourself. Gremlins are turned after these hours. That is always a valid excuse when caught.