I woke up early today, a touch after 5:00am.
I just woke up and knew that I was not going to get back to sleep. While I hate it when I get woken up early by external forces beyond my control, I enjoy waking up early when it happens like this.
More people die during the black and blue hours just before dawn than any other time, disappearing in car crashes, heart attacks, overdoses, and suicides. They call it the hour of the wolf, and I think it’s reassuring there’s a name for this time, that others feel it too. In his 1968 film of the same name, Bergman describes these in-between hours as the time “when sleep is deepest, when nightmares are most real. It is the hour when the sleepless are haunted by their deepest fears, when ghosts and demons are most powerful. But the hour of the wolf is also the hour when most children are born.”
After reading thought Reeve’s post I thought “there should be a name for the time that comes after the hour of the wolf. That time from about 4:00-5:30 am, during those hours, time has a different texture. It is as if the day is figuring out what mood it will be in.”
As I wrote the text above I remembered the book After Dark by
Haruki Murakami, which takes place in Tokyo starting when the trains stop running and ending when the trains start running again. Here is a description from the back of the book.
In After Dark—a gripping novel of late night encounters—Murakami’s trademark humor and psychological insight are distilled with an extraordinary, harmonious mastery.
Nineteen-year-old Mari is waiting out the night in an anonymous Denny’s when she meets a young man who insists he knows her older sister, thus setting her on an odyssey through the sleeping city. In the space of a single night, the lives of a diverse cast of Tokyo residents—models, prostitutes, mobsters, and musicians—collide in a world suspended between fantasy and reality. Utterly enchanting and infused with surrealism, After Dark is a thrilling account of the magical hours separating midnight from dawn.
I liked After Dark, but I loved Pattern Recognition, to this day it is one of my favorite books. It has become a “touchstone” of sorts, an object that I seek out when I desire to be comforted. (I think it is the book I’ve read start to finish more than any other book.)
From the book.
Five hours’ New York jet lag and Cayce Pollard wakes in Camden Town in the dire and ever-circling wolves of disrupted circadian rhythm.
It is that flat and spectral non-hour, awash in limbic tides, brainstem stirring fitfully, flashing inappropriate reptilian demands for sex, food, sedation, all the above, and none really an option now.
Gibson’s sentences are some of the best sentences I’ve ever read.