Making it to Midnight (Unsupervised)

Published on 21 May 2023 at 22:03

Recently I've found that Midnight is proving so very hard to get to nowadays, like a chocolate donut dangling on the end of a spindly branch, swaying in a gentle breeze, tantalisingly out of reach, mocking us with its 'O' of intrigue.


A donut tree? Ah, busy tippy-tappy hands, a rule unto yourselves.


My eyes give in far too easily, like the desire of an overweight labrador hunting for his stick in the 6:00am freezing fog. Where's your fight man?! This mission of staying power, providing there's no meaningful reason to recharge at a sensible hour such as pesky work in the morning, is a difficulty that I've rarely encountered.


In all my years on this earth, being able to effortlessly glide into the infancy of the new day, often accompanied by a truly awful 1970's budget horror of sorts filling up wasted airtime on some backwater satellite channel, has usually been hassle free.



Once the big hand crawled past the top of the clock (for younger readers, we used a analogue clock to tell the time in the olden days before the dark sorcery of digital shenanigans and iPhones), I had gotten everything I could out of the previous day.


A small rather pointless achievement mind you, but I'd stayed the course nonetheless, often with the last digestive pleading with me not to leave it to die alone on the coffee table during in the cold dead of night.


But as a man loitering around the halfway point of existence, I fight with everything I've got to arrive at the witching hour. 10.00pm and I'm entering the championship rounds, running on empty, just trying to make it to the final bell.

“to stop another fragment of youth slipping away”


Why is it seen as a small failure to hit the hay before the hours are out? Perhaps when you're a kid staying up late is cool – the later the better. You'd boast to your mates the next day at school “I made it to 3:20am last night and the last thing I remember seeing were some ravenous werewolves chasing a half dressed bimbo with an unruly chest into the dank London underground.”


Those same mates who'd laugh at you sound asleep face down in your fish fingers at school lunchtime.


"Mmmm, my scantily clad dinner is running for it's life, nom nom."


Maybe it's something on a larger scale; if you don't see out every minute, you're wishing your life away. If you see tomorrow too soon then you're a premature step closer to the Reaper's scythe? Probably nonsense I know, because you'll just make up for it by waking up earlier.


Bit drastic? Yeah, fair enough.


You can wait, Sunshine.


Maybe it's part of clinging to the past in some way; just a trivial act of slowing life down a bit, to stop another fragment of youth slipping away. We should forget that and embrace the future.


Ok, so the near future of going to a job that stresses us out for survivable pay, with laughable perks and snide looks when we'd rather be at home searching for dross on those backwater satellite channels and murdering Digestives with disturbing glee doesn't fill us with warmth, but it's only near future most of us have, at least short term.


I don't think it's unexpected that once uninteresting things we see everyday have now taken on much more appeal than before.


25 years ago running towards a beckoning football field, passing by the odd battered bench, loosely dribbling with a brand new Mitre ball like a poor man's Pele, would light up the eyes.


We couldn't wait to kick a ball about on a Saturday


A bustling seaside amusement arcade rife with the 'Bacteria 'n' B.O' brigade would get the teenage engine turning. There'd usually be a tired, soulless café at the far end that wouldn't get much attention from narrow minded youths guzzling florescent Slush Puppies.


Noise polluting the streets as a gobby reprobate, swigging from a warmed cider bottle and seeing pensioners wrapped in blankets in their old fashioned living rooms. That was the way of the wannabe thugs.

“take the world in a little more”


You know what lights up my eyes now? A lovely café at the end of the pier for a toasted teacake and a pot of tea; being plonked on the sofa in an evening with a nice bit of blanket; and a bench - give me a cracking country bench any day of the week.


Simple things hold much more appeal as time scuttles along


Its doesn't mean you're boring, although some would fight you heartily on that. It just means that you're ready to admit that a slower pace to proceedings is perfectly ok. Have a minute, take the world in a little more.


We still go to heavy metal gigs if the feeling takes us. We still do our best to keep up with technology. But we're just as happy to add these 'boring' things into the mix. Just do what the bloody hell takes your fancy. Sod what anyone thinks, they're probably wrong anyway.


AC/DC, Saxon, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Ozzy - if the mood takes us


Every now and again, just to remind myself that I can still rock with the young 'uns, I'll make it to midnight. I'll have the covers in one hand and one eye on the clock, and when 12 strikes, I'm straight into bed like a sugar-buzzed rat up a drainpipe. But – I do it. I can still produce the goods when needed.



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