I’m in a hotel room, and I should be sleeping, but I can’t. It’s late, and I’m not tired. My nightstand clock tells me it’s 11 P.M. I think I’ll go for a walk.
Now I’m strolling the dark sidewalks, alone. I pass a man who is wearing a hooded sweatshirt, walking the road, pushing a stroller that is filled with tin cans. I hear them rattling.
He grunts a greeting at me.
Maybe I will stick very close to my hotel tonight.
I’ve always been a night owl, and this used to rub the adults in my life the wrong way. I come from fundamentalists who don’t believe good things come from nocturnal activities.
As far as they were concerned, night only nurtured evil things like dancing, fighting, carousing mailbox baseball, grand theft auto, and the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.
But since we’re being honest, I’ll admit that as a boy I watched Johnny Carson almost every night in secret. I would sneak
downstairs and ignite our television, keeping the volume barely audible.
Johnny’s monologues were the best. The jokes, the gags, the laughs, the interviews. His studio seemed like such a wonderful place to be, and so different from our world.
Of course, I knew I was taking my eternal salvation into my own hands, watching such devilish TV. In my family the only acceptable forms of entertainment were the Lawrence Welk Show, Billy Graham crusades, or watching a washing machine on spin cycle.
The men I come from were morning people. They woke before sunlight, worked hard, sipped coffee all day, and made hour-long conversations about adjusting carburetors.
They burned trash in fifty-gallon drums, ate liver and onions for their birthdays, and went to bed early.
I never fit in with them because I was a night-person. And night-people were not productive, respectable people. Night-people…