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I enviously think of those who are sound asleep in their beds. I even envy those who stay up late by choice and still manage to get along with their day-to-day routine just fine. The marvellous generation of 'night people' - a different genre. What do I have in common with them? It is during such strange moments of serenity and uncanny silence that likes of Keats heard voice of nightingale and so transported himself to realm of beyond, and Matthew Arnold contemplated upon crisis of faith for mortals. As for me, I stand as miserable and confused as ever, feeling stupid that I have exhausted my supply of sleeping pills. I am not up because I choose to. I don't have luxury of getting up late. With bleary eyes and a puffy and exhausted face, I must brave world. I must get up at crack of dawn and return late into afternoon. Feeling panicky, I start to pace around room. I ransack my medicine box feverishly like an addict, for a pill that might have escaped my groping fingers and must be hiding in some corner. But none are to be found. I sigh, as I can do nothing else.
I switch on side lamp and see room come alive in a soft hue of light and shadows, adding a delightfully mysterious and cozy look to walls and ceiling. So often I am struck with feeling that at nighttime, all non-living things tend to exude a life of their own. The fridge hums and drones silently, walls whisper and breathe, as electricity running behind them slithers, twists and runs with defying swiftness. I peer out of window on to street which looks deserted and dark. The carcass of a dying and spent moon is briefly revealed by passing clouds and then its darkness again. Crickets creak, a dog lets out a churlish howl and moths feverishly encircle solitary lamp posts on street, until night watchman whistles and everything turns still, but only for a moment and then rhythm resumes. A car passes by on street, a midnight rider, whose stereo blare heinously and ruins perfect harmony of night and silence. As he passes away, dog howls loudly in protest.
The breeze at night feels so very gentle. A few dry leaves and ubiquitous plastic bags are sucked up by breeze and they start to dance in whirlwind motion. The breeze turns into a wind, which twirls leaves round and round on deserted road, around lamp posts and finally spits them out in a corner and then carries on its ballet alone. I prick my ears. A low rustle! Then a moan. It is wind again. And wind does cry. I switch on to FM radio, hungry and desperate for a human voice. The radio hums and creaks as I set bandwidth and finally sweet sounds of rhythm and blues start to emit, filling in my jarred senses with companionship and peace. So I listen on and on, silently humming and rocking myself to sooth dull pain in my body. I take up a long-neglected poetry book. Hours pass till I finally hear a slight chirp and then another one. The FM station has gone silent ages ago and static emitting from radio drones on.
I keep my book away. I have survived a night without my sleeping pills and delicate sensation of yesterday sleeps on my eyelids. I blink softly, hoping not to loose any of it. The aurora is wakening; reign of darkness lies in recession. It's dawn and I am still looking through yesterday's eyes, though weary but with hope that I am stepping into a new day and whatever it might bring. I will tackle it and I will tackle it well because I am a survivor, if not anything else.
The author is a 26 years old single female, hailing from Karachi, Pakistan. She has earned her masters degree in English Literature from the University of Karachi. Currently working as a content and creative writer at an IT firm, she dreams of pursuing a M. Phil degree in literature some day. Her hobbies include reading and writing. For feedback, comments or critique she can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.