Okay. So, as you may know, I stay up until around 5 AM most days. I take my coffee at midnight—and don’t expect to wake up until sometime around lunch. Even later than that, occasionally, depending on how hectic my previous day was and what my work schedule looks like.
But, you may not know I call myself a “nightwalker,” and I know many others like me.
And, as a nightwalker, there are three “rules” of etiquette that I wanted to share with you today.
The first is how nightwalkers treat each other when they run into each other. I am of the mind that anyone you find out past three in the morning, no matter how creepy, has an interesting story to them. A reason they chose to be out in the night. But, that does not mean you interact. The first rule of being a nightwalker is to not fuck with other nightwalkers you don’t know. You don’t have friendly conversations with someone you run into at four or five in the morning. You maybe nod at them if you are bold. If you know a fellow nightwalker, then it’s fine—but no one wants to get shot.
The second rule is that you do not call nightwalkers at certain times. While among “day-walkers,” the rule is not calling anyone before nine in the morning, it’s noon or one in the afternoon for nightwalkers. We tend to have shaky sleep schedules, so waking one of us up with a phone call can ruin us.
And, thirdly, there is a linguistic rule. As odd as it sounds, there is a special grammar for those of us who stay up way too late.
It has to do with time.
The short of it is this: days are determined by when you went to bed.
If, to a fellow nightwalker, I said “I will do that today,” they would take that as meaning something a little different than most would think.
Midnight is not the cut-off time for a day.
If I say I am going to do something on a Wednesday, then that means Wednesday evening and/or Thursday “morning.”
It’s just how you must think about time when you are up as late as a nightwalker is. All these rules are not illogical, not that odd if you think with their purpose. It even gives us a culture.
A culture of breakfast food at midnight, of wandering streets and beaches deep into the twilight hours, of sacrificing sleep to be a part of the night. Of slowly slipping out of the rhythms of the waking world.
We are not vampires.
But we are not “normal.”
And we could be anyone. Anyone who seems a little too tired in the afternoon and seems to wake up more as the day goes. Anyone who never seems to be asleep when you check their social media.
I think it’s a cool name for us.
Special thanks to: Bob Gerkin, Collin Pearman, Dylan Alexander, Jerry Banfield, and Michael The Comic Nerd.
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