Posts Tagged ‘night’


Everywhere you go, you hear complaints about the heat this summer.  You understand.  You’ve walked out into the oven blast usually experienced by workers at pizza shops.   Your shirt soaked with sweat  testifies to the minimal movement required to raise your temperature.  But when the night comes and the summer breeze washes your face….. well isn’t that just something?

You find yourself walking down the street with your headphones jacked to the strains of “Sorrow” by David Bowie –  a dichotomy of lyrical lament set to joyful noise.  While the girls flirt with their long legs,  summer dresses and flip-flops, you breathe deeply and feel the residual stress of the thump thump thump of office deadlines fading into the evening’s cacophony of splattered rays of light.

The mischievous hide-and-seek street lamps peek through tree leaves, highlighting the lush greenery that frames the little shops and cafés.   And you’re lost.  Completely lost in the invitation of it all.

You pass the little jazz club with its wide open doors and flickering candlelight.  If you were dressed in something a little more snooty than cargo shorts and a T you’d know your feet would turn into the place before your brain had anything to say about it.   Inside, you see couples – some deep in conversation, others smiling, their hands flitting back and forth on the table, occasionally touching.  Their eyes betray their hopes.   “Will she let me kiss her? ”   In the far corner, far from the flickering candles, one couple has completed their dance and are now obsessed with discovering the depths of each others’ mouths.

You’re amazed that you caught all of that in the two seconds it took to go past the place.

As you continue down the street, a perfumed note tickles your noise, catapulting you back to an earlier summer, when you flirted with the actress at the party.   You smile as you remember her caress and the way her eyes flashed when you both snuck out and spent the entire night roaming the city streets.  Talking, holding hands, occasionally stopping to kiss.

She’s long gone now, and you’ve heard that she got married, out there far in the west of Canada.   The memory, and the perfume that provoked it, remain.

You can’t help noticing the pace of the summer night.  No one seems to be in any particular hurry.  Not even the lady selling roses.  Or the fortune-teller relaxed by the side of the street, waiting for giggling girls to stop by and pay their money, just to find out about their chances for romance.  Your hunger to capture it all leads you to take dozens of pictures with your point and shoot camera.  It doesn’t matter that only a small few turned out.  The walk itself was the joy.  Some things can only be appreciated in the moment.  And perhaps later on, in a blog.

You wander on, drinking in the night.   And briefly your mind wanders back to the middle of January.

No one sauntered anywhere, then.   They scurried, shivering, from their door to the car, and from the car to the store.   Quickly.  There were no smiles. There were no conversations or necking couples or invitations from the wide open doors of clubs.   The lights on the tiny streets illuminated nothing except the dirty snow, and the wisps of car exhaust.  Anyone unfortunate to walk was so bundled in layers it was almost impossible to determine anyone’s sex.  Fortunately some of them wore pink.  So there was that, you supposed.

Flirting was for fools, the provenance of the desperate and foolish.   Conversations were quick and to the point.

“How are you?”

“Fine.  See you later.”


Everyone got it.    Even the bums looking for spare change got it.   You remember walking past a few of them, as they sat shivering on the corner.   You were aware of the scam, and knew that they made their biggest hauls during the coldest and wettest times of the year.

“Spareanychangemister?  No?  ThankyouandGodbless”   They flung their words at you, hoping that they’d snag at your scarf and reel you in by your guilt.

You shiver suddenly, and just like that your mind returns to the present.  There, in the middle of the sidewalk, on the breezy and cozy and perfumed summer night, you remember how much you truly hate winter.   You vow never to curse the heat.

Your appreciation of summer, and of this night becomes overwhelming.  You kind of wish it would never end.


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.


Posted: March 22, 2010 in Life
Tags: , , ,

Some things are designed to fail.

Right away you’re thinking of that car or gadget you own, that has a one-year warranty, and you’re recalling how, one or two days after the warranty ran out, the ass end of whatever it is you’re thinking about fell off.

While that’s funny (if you’re not the one who owns the thing) this isn’t what I wanted to talk about.  You can, though.  Down there in the comments.

I was thinking about how you can be your own worst enemy, and that sometimes, failure can be a good thing.

Ever since I was a youngster I’ve been more alive at night.  I have no idea why this is, but I’ve grown to accept it.  Some of the best ideas come at night, and some of the best passions present themselves in the late night/early morning hours.  There’s just a clarity there, a shining sharp-edged knowledge that you can’t ignore or pretend isn’t there.

Lately, having come to terms with what I think might be an ADD issue, there has been acceptance of the fact that when my mind gets going – usually in the early morning hours – it’s pointless to stay in bed, tossing and turning.   Sometimes it’s possible to fool myself:  I’ll pretend that someone has come into the bedroom, someone I don’t want to talk to, and I’ll just lay there mimicking sleep.  The mimicking part is what does it:  time after time, the pretend-sleep has turned into real sleep.   (Man, I’m so happy when that happens).

Lately though, it hasn’t been working.

And sometimes I stay up long past the time when I should be dozing off.   Take this past weekend for example.

I knew full well that the limousine would be arriving at 7:15 a.m. Monday to take me to the airport.  I knew this, yet made the choice to stay up very late on Saturday night.  In fact, I didn’t hit the sack until 4:00 a.m. Sunday morning.  (What?  I was thinking, and writing and having a blast)

So of course I made a point of going to bed on Sunday night at 10:00, figuring I’d get up at 5:00 a.m., thus allowing a seven hour sleep.

Yeah, right.

10:00 came and went, and I hadn’t gotten around to crawling into bed.  I forced myself to go to bed at 11:30.  I thought “Ok so that’s five and a half hour’s sleep.  Not so bad.”    Something inside told me that wasn’t enough, so I set the alarm for 5:30.  That should provide enough time to pack and be ready for the 7:00 a.m. ride.

Well, wouldn’t you know it?  The bed was uncomfortable.  I scrunched up and made sure the pillow was big enough and sitting just right under my neck.

Then I had to turn over, and do the same thing again.

“Wait” I though.  “It’s too noisy in here.  Damn it.”  I forgot to wear my ear plugs.  (Have to keep the window open because the apartment is too warm.  This allows some fresh air in.  The street noises all gang up and saunter in that same window and set up a party in my room.)

I threw the covers off, and went looking for the ear plugs.  Ew.  I had used those ones too often.  Seemed like a good idea to get some new ones.  So off I went into the kitchen and found a fresh pair.

“There” I thought.  “Much better.”  And once again I situated myself under the sheets.

I thought about the next day, about meeting my new boss, and what I would tell him.  I wondered if he would understand some of the pressures our virtual team would face, and what I could do or say to help him understand.  I played around with different approaches, imagined his reactions, thought about how others would factor in, and what new ideas they would bring.  And….

“DAMN IT”  I threw the covers off.  It was hopeless.  I wandered out to the living room and started to watch the last half of Desperate Housewives.  (What?  Are you kidding me?  It’s got Teri Hatcher and Eva Longoria Parker – two of the hottest babes on TV these days.  Not to mention Julie Benz, of Dexter fame, who recently joined the cast.)

I shut the TV off and went to my bedroom, a little sleepier than before.  Then I got on the computer, made sure all the comments on my blogs were answered, then checked MySpace and Facebook to make sure everything was answered there too.  And then checked out all the MySpace blogs to make sure I read and commented on them.

Finally, at 2:30 I fell back into bed.

Today I’m dragging.   Clearly, normal human hours aren’t for me.  A rock star’s schedule seems more fitting.

May have to do something about that.

Oh, and P.S. – if you have an ADD thing and you’ve had no sleep at all I can tell you that the very worst thing in the world is to get a seat on an airplane right next to a wide-awake guy with apparent ADD.  He showed all the symptoms and none of the restraint:  his leg wouldn’t stop jumping up and down and oh dear Lord he was LOUD.   Like ALL THE TIME.  He had no filter either – whatever he thought about came out his wide open mouth.    So there was no sleep on the plane either.

I blame myself.