I thank the Lord for the nighttime. As soon as it ticks past midnight, something in me clicks on. It’s inspiration time around these parts. It’s dark outside, it’s quiet, it’s perfectly acceptable for me to be on the couch swathed in blankets instead of doing something productive like shoveling snow or shimmying into my running tights for a jog. My computer pulses silently, its white light hovering close to its metallic surface, and then pulling back again, dimming.
Ruby, our dear dog, who used to look like this, but who has now grown up somewhat (in stature, not in maturity),
is lying next to me, her back curved against the couch. She huffs every now and then, whips her tail a little in her sleep. Ruby carries around the head of her Christmas stuffed raccoon—its body long lost—as if it is very precious, and has been taking great care lately to infuse it with slobber and stray fur to make up for its recent encounter with the washing machine. She hardly stirs any more when I read a bit of paragraph aloud, or when I rouse myself for juice or phone charger.
This is my time, after all. It has always been this way. I no longer expect anyone—including the dog—to stay awake for it.