It is a strange thing that I can only write these pages after midnight. Perhaps it’s the silence. Or perhaps it’s that the night itself carries all clichés of our secrets, sequestered in shadows, seeping out to remind us of the past, its interwoven layers, each thread binding us to a forgotten moment, a yesterday, a chosen past we’ve fabricated.
Fabrication is after all the manner of histories. We each make our past lives out to be something that conforms to our present. We find comfort that the line from then to now suits the present we imagine ourselves to deserve, a present that can be explained with ease.
But unease is what midnight is made of. I’m certain I’m far from alone in finding the midnight to be the space in which those comfortable illusions slip away, in which realities creep back into their own, and in which the comfortable clothes of my now are sloughed off, my true self exposed to the chill air.
People call these things concern. Worry. Anxiety. It is more likely that these things are actually cold truths, unsullied by the middle layers we pad out our hopefully comfortable lives. Exposed, they bring us back to what we are, or were, and remind us both gently and persistently that there are always deeper truths.
And so it is with this history. I find myself in a coddled life. One in which I have cossetted myself away from the harsher, more brutal layers of of who I’ve been, and in which I can protect myself, and those about me, from the worst of which the past has to offer. Because as I’ve stated, in tear-filled nights where the past has welled up to be confronted, recognised, welcomed, and laid back to rest; we are each a river in which time flows, and in which there can be no hiding from what it is that makes us who we are. Fate awaits us as inevitably as the sea, and as assuredly as death itself.
And the night welcomes me again, and it opens a corridor to the past, one lined with a golden, moody, stained tapestry of days, endless.