Nights of Old, Nights of Today

Let’s be perfectly clear here, I used to HATE the daytime. When you’re a twenty-something misanthrope working retail, daytime blows. Bosses are about, people are about, it gets to be a little much. So you pack your bag up at the end of the day, and when you’re twenty, and .socially inept(see the last post), night time is a great time. Less people around to make you feel like the outcast you already know you are. The people at this time of night are usually more interesting, and just as much an outcast as you.

But being a misanthrope, you head home, unless there’s a RPG/concert/club you’re hanging at. But if you do those things, it’s never on a Friday or Saturday. Those days in the club world are amateur hour,money makers for the club. Too crowded, too full of desperation, and way too many people to notice you’re not the hippest thing in the world. So you sit home alone,only the radio to keep you company, because Bill Clinton killed late night TV in 1993. Don’t think so? He killed the last chance for the Fairness Doctrine to be put into law, kiddies, and oversaw the deregulation of tv that brought us the infomercial.

Also, radio sucked in the midwest by the 90’s. That was, until one night, I discovered the man who is second only to my wife in comforting me on late and lonely nights:Art Bell.

Art Bell’s Show, Coast to Coast AM, was the perfect radio show for the 90’s, and is still somewhat good under the new guy, George Noory. But for a guy reading fantasy and sci-fi or chatting in a chat room at 1 am, he was the perfect soundtrack. Yes, he was into the paranormal and dire future predictions, but he did it with a style and dry humor never matched. Who else had the nerve to have the AntiChrist call line, call in if you’re him? Or call in if you’re from the future.

Best moment ever for Art’s show was one night, during a round of Area 51 call ins. Area 51 is the legendary Nellis Air Force Base, long rumored to be a holding area for crashed UFOs. A caller called in, said he was calling from a phone booth, and couldn’t talk long. Said there were things at Area 51 that made him weep for humanity. He then stopped, and said “Oh God, they’re here”. While Art tried to keep him talking, there was a sudden blood curdling shriek, and Art’s show went off the air. It’s 2 AM and your favorite broadcaster gets cut off, you tend to freak out. Turns out a transformer blew near Art’s uplink for satellite. Never been real sure about the connection, but it was amazing to experience.

Flash forward twelve years or so. I’m a father now, which is to say I haven’t really slept in, in about six years. I figure I get to do that when she graduates high school. Until then, I’ve gone from feedings in the early hours to bad dreams to up before dawn bus driver pick ups.  But I still have insomnia. I still love to write in the wee hours when I can, though the morning afters are worse now. But I don’t have Art anymore, not really. And if I’m alone in the house at night,I find I miss the presence of my wife and child. Where the radio once was, the silent presence, the odd rustle of a turning body in bed, these are the noises that give me comfort in my wolf hours. And I wouldn’t have it any other way. And daytime? it’s a good thing now, because that’s when my light of my world  is awake. So good bye middle of the night, I’ll see you around, here and there, but I have those who need me elsewhere.