Posted: April 26, 2010 in ADHD, Life
Tags: , , ,

“Night time…is the right time….to be….with the one you love…..”

That Ray Charles song resonates.

There’s a life-beat to it, a drawing, a capture that won’t quit, won’t let go.

Night time.

Even the words amaze me.

Long before I figured out that ADD had a place in my life, I knew that the night-time was a friend.   She would glance at me through her long dark hair, her smiling eyes dancing, daring and ready to run.   And we would scamper around the dark city, curious about the next corner, not sure whether what was on the other side was dangerous or fun.  Or both.

There were so many failed mornings; mornings that would see my mother grow exasperated and angry as I struggled to get my act together so as to get to school on time.   Our school band had practice every single day for years at 8:00 in the morning.  And every single morning – every *single* one – I found myself running to school.  I never had enough time to merely walk it.

That should have told me something.

So many nights I became alive and alert.

There were many times after improv class when a few close friends and I got together, to sit under the stars at the top of an apartment building, listening to the sounds of the street.  We spoke of so many “what ifs” and laughed and drank.  It was under one of those night skies that my friend decided that next Hallowe’en he was going to dress as a priest.  My other friend figured that if he was going to do that, she was going to dress as a nun.  They both decided I should dress as an altar boy.  With a slave collar and chain.

We would walk down Yonge St. and scandalize society as best we could.

There was a time, when I was still in high school and didn’t live in the big city.  When I lived in Oshawa, a town that was about thirty miles away from The City.  The train was the only way to get here, and so that’s what I did on occasion.   I remember the first time I walked down Yonge St. too.  (That’s the longest street in Canada, or so it’s said).  It’s the main drag in Toronto, and it contains, per capita, the highest number of light bulbs on any given street you’d care to mention.   There are bars, next to record stores, next to strip clubs, next to department stores, tarot card readers, ice cream parlours and other restaurants.

The street was – and is – *alive*.

That first trek down Yonge St. evidently made an impression on me.  I remember a few hookers looking at my curiosity-filled, upturned, open-mouthed entirely naive teenage face, and laughing at me.

Where ever my feet would take me, that’s where I went.

I remember later trips, this time with friends, where we spent the entire night exploring the city, walking everywhere, laughing as the rain came down and we scooted from shelter to shelter.   The fresh smell of the wet air was invigorating.   We didn’t really *do* anything.  Yet we had such a great time.

It took me the longest time to realize that it wasn’t Yonge St., or the long lightbulbed corridor, or the smells, or the curiosity that affected me so much.

It was the night-time.

Yonge St. during the day is boring.  It’s filled with people, all scurrying from point A to B in the quickest way possible.  It’s what I imagine major streets in New York to be like on a busy day, albeit on a slightly lesser scale.

Night time brings clarity.  You notice things more at night.  Like smells. Glances.  Things.  People.  Lights.

There doesn’t seem to be an end to the night.  You can’t really believe morning will ever get here.   You revel in it, and you wonder how people can ever stand to be out there during the day.

Clubs, bars and curiosity shops each have their own characters that seem (to me) to only become apparent at night.  The light show and driving thump-thumping of dance music in clubs compete with the gaze of strangers, all of whom seem as curious as you.

Here’s the thing:  night-time captures my interest like nothing else does.  The ADD-enhanced frustration of day time business goes away at night.  That white noise buzzing of competing priorities fades away.  Everything – EVERYTHING – becomes so clear.  Like crystal.

I used to make a habit of walking the eight miles from my home to the south-most part of Yonge St..   I’d do this while listening to one of the extensive music playlists on my iPhone.   The  few times I did this last year was enjoyable, even though I found myself totally missing the scenery of that walk.  The music took my mind away on vast vistas of thought.  This happens every time I walk anywhere while the music is playing, and even when it’s not.

My leg is broken right now and I’m not walking anywhere.

But when it’s healed, one of the first things I’m going to do is walk from my place to the south end of Yonge St., again.

This time, I’ll do it at night.

I can’t wait.

  1. *grin*

    The more I read the more you sound like my evil twin – no, wait – I am the evil one…



  2. Pinky says:

    A toast to our “new normals!”


  3. Nadia Chyme says:

    Wolfie! I didn’t know you broke your leg…bummer beautiful! I’m such a morning girl — but it makes sense a wolf would love the night! I’m hazy and foggy after about 9pm. Clear and brilliant at 5am. Funny, huh? They do say opposites attract…



    • Wow. That’s amazing. Your description of your 9 p.m. is exactly the same as my 9 a.m. Exactly.

      I absolutely agree with you that opposites attract. There are too many examples in my life that prove your point. :)


  4. wordofabe says:

    When I haven’t had to wake up at the crack of dawn for work, I’ve always reverted to a night owl schedule. There IS something magical about the night. But it can be disturbing, too. One of my roughest times ever was climbing out of a canyon, over one mile straight up a mountain through nearly impassible brush with severe leg cramps in the dark! That was unbelievably rough, made terrifying by the dark.


  5. suzrocks says:

    Broken leg!?!? Did I miss something!?!?!?!?!
    I know what you mean about night time. I’m a night owl myself. It just doesn’t matter how early I have to wake up for work or what, I still stay up all night. I can’t help it. I love it. Sometimes you make me wonder if I’m ADD… lol. Night time is mystical and magical and alluring for sure. I’ve loved it ever since childhood. I remember having no fear of the night as a child and, in fact, sneaking out to play in the dark after bedtime. I enjoyed this blog lots… maybe because I could relate to it so well :)


    • So great to read about a kindred spirit in this, Suz! If I had my way, I’d sleep during the day time and only come out at night. Night is for living. I don’t get it, don’t understand it, but I’m not questioning it either.

      Yes, I have a broken leg. :) Blogged about it too – the last one: “Broken” – explains it.


  6. Just Kate says:

    Your moniker is apt in so many ways, your love of the night is just one of them.

    I thought of many things reading this. I remembered living in Tokyo and loving the night, wandering through town, people watching, feeling utterly safe… More than that, I remember nighttime horseback rides, laying side-by-side with a boy I thought I loved on a picnic table top, counting stars. I remember how dark the night was in the jungle, how brilliant the stars. I remember sneaking away from bible school in the middle of the night with the man who is now my husband; I remember running hand-in-hand down dark, deserted streets, laughing quietly, until we came to the park where we sat on swings and looked up at the alien sky – no Big Dipper, just the Southern Cross.

    I love the night but I love early mornings too. As a chronic insomniac, I get to enjoy both. You actually sound very like my biological son. He doesn’t come alive until night time. He’s very ADD and the stuff of daylight bores and pains him. When it gets dark, he’s wide awake and at his best. He’s always been that way. The battles to get him to school wore me down and out. :) I never gave up but I swear it aged me. lol

    I love this blog, Doug. It’s so very YOU. I suppose they all are but I really feel you in this one. x & o


    • I have never been to Japan and now want to go, having read your memory of Tokyo. I’ve been to Paris and at night it’s far more magical than it is during the day. Not that the day is bad, mind you. Any day in Paris is better than a week in Toronto (and Toronto’s nothing to sneeze at, either!)

      I’ll never “get” how you can like the early mornings though. I guess that’s not surprising. Your son and I would probably get along very well. *grin*

      I’m *very* glad this hit a note with you, Katy.


  7. I have never been to Japan and now want to go, having read your memory of Tokyo. I’ve been to Paris and at night it’s far more magical than it is during the day. Not that the day is bad, mind you. Any day in Paris is better than a week in Toronto (and Toronto’s nothing to sneeze at, either!)

    I’ll never “get” how you can like the early mornings though. I guess that’s not surprising. Your son and I would probably get along very well. *grin*

    I’m *very* glad this hit a note with you, Katy.


  8. Just Kate says:

    I wrote kind of a hodgepodge of memories from Tokyo to Oregon to Papua New Guinea to Australia. I did realize it was so fluid until I came back to read it again. It was a stream-of-consciousness, which you’re used to, I realize, albeit not in this forum.

    Yes, you and my boy would get along brilliantly for many reasons, not the least of which is his quick mind and tendency to ping from thing to thing. :) Some day I’ll introduce you.

    As for mornings, they’re beautiful. I posted a recent picture of a sunrise taken from the front of our house… glorious! It’s the smell of rain, the neighing of the horses, the joyful greetings from our dogs, the way the air is crisper and cooler no matter the season. Yeah, I love mornings just as much as I love the night.

    And I love this blog. It’s my favorite of yours, thus far. :)


    • You know what? I’m *really* looking forward to meeting you, your husband, your son, everyone! In my mind’s eye, I picture us gathered around beer and wine on a hot summer night’s patio, talking about everything under the sun, hashing out (and arguing about) politics, religion and anything that comes to mind. I also imagining us annoying the hell out of the other patrons, too.

      The picture you paint of the early morning sunrise is provocative Katy. Not hard to appreciate it, if it’s done in solitude. I’m used to early morning business-irritated chaos – a consequence of life in the Big City. Sometimes it’s all I can do to maintain my temper just going to the socially cold over-busy supermarket across the street from me. It’s kind of anti-wolf actually. *laughing*

      Your favourite blog? Really? Wow. :) That’s something, Katy. Thank you!


  9. Yes yes yes! I love the night. Or, more truly, engaging the night when it’s there and right, and napping a little, and waking up to first morning light. I can’t wait until my life gets to the point where I can live in my own odd, short, cycles again, rather than having to block out hunks of night to punch a clock. Somehow that messes with the magic.


    • Me too. If there’s a lifestyle that intrigues me (Ok the word is “envy” really), it’s the one lived by the fictional Hank Moody on “Californication”. Popping into his agent’s office for a quick snooze on the sofa, in between bouts of snarky back and forth remarks; just living for the moments entirely, the bulk of which involving enormous gulps of beer at local pub-like establishments, with an occasional nod to actually writing (in between flirting with every woman he sees because, like me, he just loves women in general).

      I’m selfish and want too much for practically nothing. I own that shit without apology too. *grin*


  10. Kungfoofyter says:

    Hello everyone I’m Kungfoofyter (one of Wolfshades’ most important relatives ever :) if I may say so myself -(smiling)

    I will begin by saying that I really enjoyed reading this blog dear Wolfshades. I too have breathed in the exciting and interesting, soul-filled air of downtown Toronto in all its different seasons and it was nice to be brought back there for a visit via your words.

    Now after reading about who likes morning better than night etc. I guess I’ll put in my 2cents and share my little thoughts on this because I have loved both morning the most and night the most at different times, for different reasons.
    Morning is when I ‘take in’ what resonates and night is when I ‘let out’ what does not, to make more space inside for what does resulting in renewed hope. So when my life is a resonant reflection of my Self and it’s something that I can’t wait to start every day then I become alive in the morning much more easily, naturally than when I feel I need to figure out how to create more of a resonant lifestyle.
    Night however, is when I am most able to honestly contemplate, express, philosophize or write about what does not resonate in my life. Growing up as a Daddy’s -you can do anything you want to – Girl, night was when Dad and I would sit and chat for hours figuring out the world while the rest of the house was sleeping.. and so when I need to sort out those kinds of thoughts, well night is the facilitator of that process. Night has always been the best most free time I can go gallivanting in thoughts or activities beyond my daily duties (without feeling like I should be doing what is expected of me in the day) and I can just be totally aware and present with how I perceive the reality of my current daily life and I can uncover important keys that inadvertently unlock the door to my morning person self.
    Does that make sense?

    I have never been an insomniac but I have definitely had times where I wished I didn’t ever need to sleep ever. I feel for those with insomnia though ’cause I think we’ve all had times we wished we could retreat from our waking thoughts into a nice fluffy sleep and it would just stink not to have that luxury :(
    I guess that’s when I might appreciate great books or movies the most. Hm.


      (Hey everyone. Meet the joy of my heart; the person who makes my heart sing, even when I don’t want to and would rather sleep. My daughter!!!)

      Just to be clear, kungfoofyter: I don’t like night time in Toronto “in all seasons”. There’s one season in particular here that just plain sucks, regardless of the lighting. I think you know which one that is. :)

      I read your explanation of your love of morning with a smile. While I don’t share your experience with this, I can appreciate to a degree why you do. I often wonder what it’s like for those who appreciate the morning. For me, it’s all fog and cobwebs.

      I remember so many nights with you at various coffee shops around town, which we visited at night, calmly watching the hours speed by as we looked with clarity on pretty much everything. We didn’t solve the world’s ills but it sure *felt* like we did.

      I miss that, and you. :)

      And reading your comment was the equivalent of a spiritual hug for me. I appreciate that so much! You rock, sweetheart!!!


    • Just Kate says:

      Hey, KUNGFOO-you!

      Your dad has always said that I would like you very much. Based on what you’ve written here, I can see how right he is. :) I love your thought process and resonate with what you said about night-thoughts facilitating morning-being (that’s my abridged version of what you said).

      Tonight is one of those nights when I’m processing, processing, processing and throwing epic e-mails at your dad. lol Tomorrow I’ll live a bit of what I’ve been discovering and uncovering tonight. I’m facing an imposing and important meeting tomorrow, one I’d really rather not attend (I can’t go barefoot and that totally messes with my sense of self). Anyway, I’ll take with me some of what I said tonight. I wrote myself to a place of deeper understanding. The night is good for that.

      So great to read you here, Kungfoo-kid. :)


  11. Awwwwwwwwwwwwww!!!!!!!!!!

    (sorry – that was just, wow – the sweetness and the whole love vibe…*looses stuff*)

    Just sayin’



    • :)

      She just has that effect on me. I’m kind of helpless, really. Ever since the day I saw her in the incubator my life has been changed. Never expected it, either. *grin*

      What did you lose? Maybe I can help you find it. :)


  12. Momma Fargo says:

    The streets do come alive at night…I know I work them…only I’m not a hooker. And aren’t wolves nocturnal as well?


  13. The night time can keep you young, energetic, and full of hope for tomorrow.

    By tomorrow, your energy could be spent, your hope lost and that youthful feeling just another ache in the back. I’m sorry, the leg.

    But, then there’s always another night to follow, a moon to howl at, stars to come out, and dreams to come true.

    michael j


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