Losing Late Nights

It suddenly occurred to me — when I was in the basement waiting to see if the washer would flood/leak — that I am no longer a Night Writer.

I used to stay up and journal, scribble, angst-ify long after the sun had gone and the house had gone quiet.

In KC, I’d sit on my balcony at the Vanderbilt and listen to voices from other apartments, or from art students wandering the neighborhood. In the safe shell of loneliness, I’d carve out long evenings with my writing. Or when I rambled through my house– MY house, the one that was just mine, even when I shared it with MANY Latvians — I’d feel untethered. Not want to go out. Just stay in, sit on the porch or the dining room table and write until I was too bleary to do anything but go to bed.

I won’t mention the easy distractions: why bother? What is Facebook now was the refrigerator or television or any friend on the phone back then. There’ s always reason to stop myself from listening to the noise that wants to get out.

Recently, I moved two containers of my journals to the basement. That’s where it “occurred” to me– when I was trapped in the basement, with nothing else but power tools and dried paintbrushes. I opened the box and found the journal I written in just after I met Colin. I surprised myself. I could hear the looseness of my voice and remember how free my writing was during grad school, when all those people wanted me to write, all the time. It has the same poet sing-song, but not the tightness of today.

Now yoga is occasional. All those people who paid me or pushed me are scattered and the daylight is full of people unhappy when my fingers are running over the keys, or my head is bent over a book.

Maybe that means late nights, again. Even if Colin must fall to sleep alone.

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Elizabeth Howard

Elizabeth writes literary non-fiction, haiku, cultural rants, and Demand Poetry in order to forward the cause of beautiful writing. She teaches and speaks about the rhetorical impact of beautiful writing. A recent transplant to Connecticut, she calls London, Kansas City, and Iowa home. 

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  2 comments for “Losing Late Nights

  1. June 27, 2010 at 11:50 am

    Whenever you write on here (night or day), I’m a happy camper. Thanks for continuing to…

  2. June 27, 2010 at 2:59 pm

    Hey girl! Keep writing! Keep scribbling! We have words in our hearts fighting at a chance to see the light of day. Your life is different, you have many candles burning at several ends, and now you have more varied, unusual, and flavorful ingredients to cook up new stories of your life. Suck it up and write!

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