Nothing Good Happens At 2 AM

Alessio Lin

For some reason, it’s always 2 am.

You might think it would be the witching hour. You know, midnight – the time when all the cool things like goblins and witches are supposedly out to play. Same old song and dance. The carriage is turning back into a pumpkin. A drunk girl on Santa Monica Blvd. is yelling to her friends, “GUYS, THE UBER IS HERE!”

And yet, midnight doesn’t feel cheap. It doesn’t feel lonely. Seems full of possibility, in some weird way. A new day. The start of another 24 hours for your life to magically change.

But later, at 2 am, things go south.

Because at 2 am, someone is crying in bed alone. Or not alone. Or not alone but still alone.

Because at 2 am, last call was just announced and, these days, goodbyes are a little too reminiscent of death.

Because at 2 am, like clockwork, I’m mad at myself for things I did three years ago. I’m dissecting conversations I should have buried already. I’m looking at photos or reaching for my phone. I’m making a list of all the people I lost touch with. I’m wanting to hug them all.

I search every ex I’ve ever had. Some that probably don’t even realize I think of them as an ex. A former somebody. An almost. A fleeting thought.

I see some of them happy and in love and hate myself for being angry. Angry that everyone else seems to move on so easily. I stay stuck running a romantic hamster wheel. I’ve never known how to make a graceful exit.

2 am, I’m absentmindedly browsing Netflix out of pure habit. At this point, it’s an accepted part of my nighttime routine. I’m not falling asleep when my head hits the pillow. I’m not drifting off peacefully. And I don’t want my 2 am thoughts. I want distraction. So there’s Buffy The Vampire Slayer. Or The Office, the oddly comforting Friends laugh track keeping me company.

Nothing good happens at 2 am.

I’m awake, but I don’t want to be.

I’m buzzing, but I should stay still.

I’m cursing out insomnia, and she yells right back. TC mark

Ari Eastman

✨ real(ly not) chill. poet. writer. mental health activist. mama shark. ✨

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