During periods of great stress, I revert to type. Being a night owl, that means I work all through the night till the sun’s risen, and I’m sipping a bedtime herbal tea watching the commuters stream past on their way to the office.
I rarely get tired, and my chronotype happily lets me sleep during the day.
In the same way as I suspect larks enjoy the fewer distractions of the early hours, I can crack on with work undisturbed while everyone else sleeps.
But loneliness can flower from the notion you’re the only person still awake. While this feeling can be one of decadent excitement if you’ve been out partying, it’s pretty morose if you’re spell checking a document.
People will still be wandering home, animated by alcohol, till around 2am most mornings. But it’s the bit after that.
After you’ve caught the last staggering stragglers passing your window, before that first wheelie case heralds the first flight of the day, there’s a period of silence.
That’s why I’ve always loved Canary Wharf . It may not be environmentally sound, but the constant glow of the E14 towers is a comfort. You can see other people are up, moving like little shadow puppets in the offices.
Marooned in suburbia, I try to recreate that night-time camaraderie by listening to the radio.
There’s a nocturnal army of students, carers of babies, other workers, and my favourite: the truckers.
Rattling around our roads in the early hours, ferrying food, mail, cleaning products, calculators, everything, truckers have whole song request sections dedicated to them.
It’s good to know if writing doesn’t work out, I have other options.
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