Why, I would like to know, is four in the morning such a cruel hour?
You can go to bed warm and happy and securely loved, snuggled in fleece and a new periwinkle comforter you got for Christmas. You can even have sweet dreams. But if you awake at 4 am, you are a blind panic.
It's never that you wake up and think about that pair of boots you'd really like to buy, the movie you want to see, or the funny conversation you had yesterday. Nor do you wake up thinking about trying a new paint color in your bedroom, or how you really like eggnog lattes at Starbucks, or that maybe next time you get your hair done you'll ask for more highlights.
No, no, and more no. It's never like that, and I don't know why. Four in the morning is reserved for terror.
It's the hour for waking with a start, suddenly and inexplicably, with a lead ball of dread in your stomach. Why is it the hour for thinking, in sweating anxiety, about should-haves, missed opportunities, and things you will never have the chance to do unless you change your life completely, starting tomorrow? And even then, if you oversleep, which you probably will, since oh, look, you're wide awake and it's 4 am, it might be too late?
Why is it that once you're awake, with enough of a sandstorm of hysterical thoughts to smother an entire desert village, you just keep producing more grains of swirling panic?
Like, if you wake up fretting about a work project, which is what I did, well, it's not enough to wake up and worry about work. Because also? Someone might, right this moment, be using your identity in Outer Mongolia. Or your kids might get lead poisoning from Chinese toys. The kids you don't have. Holy crap - you don't have kids! And you might never have kids! And hey, you haven't thought about dying alone in a while. Because that's always a possibility. Remember? Huh? Remember?
Honestly. I fucking hate 4 am.