Night time is really the best time to work. All the ideas are there to be yours because everyone else is asleep. ~Catherine O’Hara
In this industry, half of us aren’t sleeping. Nearly every position on the rig requires someone to be working 24 hours. A round-the-clock kind of job has created some confusion for me.
Gate guards have to decide how to divide their hours. Many do what we do and split the night and day shifts. Since Heidi is an early morning person and loves to go to bed by 7:30, there was never any doubt who would work nights.
I like it but I’m mixed up a lot. I’ve been working nights for just over 5 months and to be honest, I still haven’t quite gotten it down.
My day begins around 2 in the afternoon.
Even though I get up in the afternoon, I say Good Morning to everyone I see for the first four hours. They must be used to it because they all say good morning right back to me!
I eat breakfast around 8 in the evening which is usually consists of dinner food.
1. It’s creepier to have your door banged on in the middle of the night than during the day. Maybe because …
2. The one knocking is always lost or drunk, unless …
3. They’re night owls too, just paying a neighborly visit
When Henry decides he wants to go out in the middle of the night because his special treat made him so thirsty that he drank a half a bowl of water, I have to first:
1. Look out for scary inebriated lost people
2. Make sure Festus isn’t within kicking distance
3. Look under the RV for rattlesnakes
It’s a quick trip as I keep Henry out the shadows where I can’t tell the black tarantulas from clods of dirt.
There is something haunting in the light of the moon; it has all the dispassionateness of a disembodied soul, and something of its inconceivable mystery. ~Joseph Conrad
It sounds so much more enchanting when Conrad says it.
I used to take a lot of pictures of the new things I saw each day.
I drink coffee to wake up (and just because I love coffee) even though it’s usually close to 90 degrees by the time I have my first sip. I don’t drink coffee to stay awake, which means I have to quit by 1 or I won’t be able to sleep in the morning.
I blog at night and always forget you’re reading this the next day so I’m writing about night even when I say today or tomorrow and I’m always either 8 hours ahead or usually 8 hours behind everyone else.
Since I begin work in the afternoon of, for example Sunday the 5th and finish in the morning on Monday the 6th, I seem to be perpetually confused about what day it is. It’s like traveling and not knowing where you are when you first wake up except I don’t know when it is… sometimes I don’t know where I am either, but I’m not sure that’s related.
I no longer have a regular relationship with night and day. I know it’s time to get up by looking at the clock, not by looking out the window to see if daylight is starting to lighten the horizon.
I’ve only seen a sunrise 4 times since December, all on the days we moved to a different location. But I’ve become very partial to the moon and watching it wax and wane.
Night is a world lit by itself. ~Antonio Porchia.
I love to read. My entire life, I’ve gone to bed with a book and read myself to sleep. I’ve conditioned my mind to think that if it’s dark and I’m reading I should fall asleep shortly. So I do. I can only make it through 2-3 chapters before my head begins to do that bobbing thing. It doesn’t matter that night is my day. If it’s dark and quiet I can can count on having to renew my library book.
Sleeping in the daytime for me requires: extra coverings on the windows to block out the light, ear plugs and a sound machine. If you’re a gate guard, you know how loud the bell is, added to the steady truck traffic 10 feet from your head.
I still say goodnight when I go to bed, even though it’s 6 in the morning.
There’s something slightly disorienting about being on a different time-table than most people.
It’s kind of like standing on your head except it doesn’t hurt.
Or like reading Goodnight Sun instead of Goodnight Moon.
It’s morning now and time for me to go to bed. I don’t think there’s anything left to say except goodnight…