Alone At Night
Surely there is nothing wrong with being alone at night. This is the time of the evening, after all, when one’s best thinking is done. And if someone was to knock on the door, why, that would disturb you, and if they were to come inside, an additional disruption — as you would have to stand up, and converse, and serve them drinks, perhaps. And the leaving is far worse than the arriving, far, far worse — with the See you soons and Until we meet agains, and the disordered gathering of belongings — and then the final exit, with a gust of wind being sucked out through the door; the wind forming a vacuum, like the intake of one’s breath through the teeth. …No, it is far better, then, to be alone like this at night, to be perched attentively in a chair in the darkness, your eyes watching the doorknob closely, to make sure that no one enters, no one comes in.
image – U.S. National Archives
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If you’ve been looking for a chance to say something then this very well could be it.
I wish to God I’d had a list like this when I was 23.
Answer phones better than anyone else has answered phones before. Relay messages so brilliant, they bring people to tears. Turn the coffee run into the choreography of Swan Lake. Become best friends with every intern and every underling and every taxi driver you encounter.
I remember taking the pen and notebook from that woman outside the courtroom, flipping to a clean page in the book, and writing, JESSICA IS SAD in big, bold, uncoordinated letters. “My sister is going to be a good writer someday! Look at how nice her lines are!”