Monday, May 24, 2010

Hello Darkness, My Old Friend................

"Lamps in the windows burnin' bright, over in Santa Fe tonight
Full moon shining down along the border
But the ground is hard and the night is black
Over here by the railroad track
And I wish to the Lord that I was back in Georgia"

Charlie Daniels Band

Most people consider me a bit of a odd duck. Not in a bad way mind you, No need to lock up the women or children when I come around. I just find interesting things that most people don't and I don't react quite like most people do when faced with various situations.

Case in point, When my blogging buddy Brigid recently titled a post " Darkness Waits" The first thing I thought of was how much I enjoyed working at night.

Humans as a rule are not comfortable at night or in darkness. This goes back as far as the days of the caveman and woman. With the setting of the sun, the first humans withdrew into caves or around a campfire until the first breaking of the sun. The darkness outside of the ring of firelight held many fears both real and imagined for man. I think that this fear is programed in mankind's D.N.A.

I never had that fear of the dark, even as a child. I always felt more comfortable in darkness. I never was afraid of the monster under the bed, or closet. I spent most of my career on the night watch, working 4 to 12, then 12 to 8, and later 6pm to 6am shifts. I ended up totally acclimating to night work to the extent that my dear wife accused me on several occasions of becoming a vampire, going to bed when the sun came up, and leaving home when the sun set. I never tried to live a "normal" life while working nightshift, I always kept to my schedule. Other folks I worked with tried to live normal lives and staying up all day but they didn't do well at all. I understand that folks try to live the life that they are use to and they need to respond to the needs of their families but working shift work and doing that will wear you out. With a understanding wife and no kids, I was lucky that I didn't have those responsibilities. I can't begin to tell you the number of times that I would freak people out by going by a 24 hour restaurant on my way home and having a burger and cold beer at 7 AM. I adapted so well that I remember that I woke my dear wife up one morning about 2:00 A.M. so that she could see a bit of my world. We went Christmas shopping at a few stores that were open 24 hours and then I drove her around so she could see some of the "street gentry" as well as watching a few small time drug deals go down. It gave her a whole new way of looking at the world and understanding me a little better.

On nights that it's clear and the moon is full and bright, I sometimes return to the embrace of my old friend. No longer the hunter or guardian I once was, but rather as a visitor. Now I cut out the outside lights, sit on my porch, listen and look and become a part of the night and my memories...........


Nancy R. said...

Don't fool yourself. You'll always be a guardian. Thank heavens.

Michael W. said...

Particularly for cute 4 year old pirates.........