Goodnight Moon

Goodnight Moon

Sometimes people stay up late when they should really lie down and sleep,
extending their day into the nightwatch, lit by
the weary glow of a lamp or the pallid wash of TV and computer screens.
Ingesting an impulsive snack or sipping one too many, 
trading contacts for glasses in their comfy clothes.
There are good reasons to be up
of course,
sometimes there isn't enough time in a day to complete a hard day's work.
Maybe there's a game being played on the west coast, 
perhaps a friend is up for a particularly intriguing conversation,
and for some the night might smolder in ecstasy.
And there are some rotten reasons to be up so late too
of course,
whirling minds don't slow down for sleep,
and lack of love or food can rest heavy on the mind and stomach,
sometimes a loved one can't (or won't) find sleep themselves.

But sometimes people stay up
aimlessly
when they should really lie down and sleep.
The rest and rejuvenation will be welcome the next day,
and besides,
not much is getting accomplished.
It's the heavy-eyed rerun of SportsCenter,
the numbing scroll through Facebook,
the excessive Netflix episode,
the aimless wall-staring,
the lonely porn-watching,
the just-one-more video gaming,
and the "hey-are-you-still-up?" texts
that really gets people. 
Nonsense, really, in comparison to a healthy sleep cycle.

It's cowardly, I hate to say,
when people stay up
when they should really lie down and sleep.
Choosing to be a specter in this lame-duck end of day,
Playing out a dull loop while the world's on pause.
Healthy alone time for unwinding? 
Maybe sometimes sure. Cowardly?
Yes often I think so.
To wallow in a poorly-lit after-hours cubicle
in order to hold off meeting tomorrow.
Grasping at a few more hours of being over today's problems
so as to delay facing tomorrow's,
as if the Lord won't give a new set of mercies
or all gumption will dissolve in the midst of dreams.
Resting easy in the manageable ache of today for a few hours more
just to avoid the re-injury with the sun's rising.

I've been there,
I've done that.
And right now I should really lie down and sleep,
but I just had to tell you.
And tomorrows are so scary-
I, like you, can be such a coward.
And I thought if I tried to unwind
I might really just unravel.
Good night.
I wish you luck on tomorrow.
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