Night begins when I wearily climb the stairs to my flat and kick off my heels and change into a little knit dress that feels like wearing PJs. I drop my bag and keys, and head to the kitchen to make something simple for dinner. Maybe a couple of eggs, or a large salad with whatever I happen to have in the fridge. If I have the whole evening at home and am feeling inspired, I might take the time to make something more deluxe- perhaps meatball sliders and a plum and parmesan salad. The stresses of the day begin to fade to the back of my mind as the meatballs sizzle in their sauce, and by the time my plate of luscious food is ready to go, work is all but forgotten.
I eat my food, perhaps indulging in a favorite show or book as I eat, and once my leisurely dinner is over, it’s time for a walk as the sun sets over my town. This time of day never gets old, no matter how many times I see it. The blocks melt away under my feet as the sky turns from its daytime pastel blue to a deeper, huskier color, tinted with green, and the sun sets over Staten Island in a splendor of showy pinks and oranges. A freighter ship or two chugs slowly down the bay as I walk, laden with thousands of packages going…who knows where? German and Swedish names adorn the ships, and the occasional throaty horn sounds out, long and low. Stars are not common with so much city light, but the brave one or two make their appearance over the Verrazano bridge, which itself looks like so many stars all strung together in splendid arcs over the glistening water.
As night sets, my feet find my way back up to my little flat, where I put the pot on for tea and turn on a tv fireplace to crackle merrily in the background. I think tonight is a night to disappear into the joys and sorrows of The Mitford Series. I lose myself with the little priest who lives there, and salivate slightly over the luscious meals the writer describes with cruel frequency. How can soup and a cheese sandwich from the local diner sound so appealing? Perhaps I, too, shall abandon everything and go be priest to a tiny little parrish with tiny little town problems. The small town grass on the other side of the fence certainly appeals from time to time when I feel a little bedraggled from city living.
I sip my mint tea, refilling my cup again and again until the whole pot is drained. What a comforting beverage it is, warm and soothing and refreshing all at once. I learned to love it on those chilly nights in Honduras, when the nortes blew and the cracks in the house let in plenty of fresh air. Then and ever since, mint tea and popcorn were just the thing. Speaking of which…! I bookmark my spot in my Mitford novel and pop myself a big bowl of delicious popcorn, salty and crisp and covered in flaky nutritional yeast, perfect to accompany the last few chapters of my book.
I close the novel with a wee sigh, my sadness that it’s over only allayed by the knowledge that the lengthy series stretches out on my bookshelf, and I’m only on book three! My brain is full of wisteria and kittens stretched in puddles of sunshine and solemn little congregations singing solemn hymns in a little country church. Writing inspiration, which usually pools up inside when I read good literature, threatens to overflow, and so I pull out my mostly-trusty laptop, and open a fresh google doc.
A couple hours later, I come back to reality as my inspiration slows to a trickle. I look at the clock and see with some annoyance that once again genius has chosen to burn into the middle of the night. It generally does what it pleases, and what it pleases is generally to come when I should be getting my beauty rest. Ah well, beauty isn’t for those who intend to be authors, is it? And if I had to choose between genius and beauty, the brains would win, so here we are.
I turn back the covers with a yawn and roll into my cool bed, complete with the crisp sheets I love so much. I pull the fluffy duvet up to my chin and happily remember that it’s Thursday, which means I actually don’t have to set an alarm tomorrow. Beauty sleep can be had after all! And so I drift off into the land of sweet dreams as the night wind whistles about the corners of my apartment building, a haunting yet soothing lullaby.