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chasing the night

It’s been a long time (far too long, actually) since I was out and about late at night. And while most of it was spent discussing various topics at one of the many mamaks here in Kelana Jaya, the trips to and from (particularly from) said mamak reminded me of why I love the night and what it does to the world.

At around 3 in the morning, as we finally moved away from the 24-hour eateries—oases of life, food, activity and fluorescent lighting in a sea of dark, relative silence and sodium vapour lighting—I began to appreciate how serene, how . . . dead things are at night. Shops closed, their steel shutters pulled down presenting blank, fluorescent-lit faces towards the outside world. Nary a car on the streets: empty and cold, the tarmac bathed at regular intervals by that same orange sodium vapour lighting. The dark, the light and the thin, often blurred line between the two.

I feel an odd affinity towards the people out and about in a place as boring as Kelana Jaya in the middle of the night, maybe just passing through, heading from Point A to Point B while possibly stopping at Point C for a while, or maybe just trying to find something to do: people like yours truly, who prescribe to odd, possibly unnatural sleep cycles—sleep late, wake up late; sleep late, wake up early—people with things to do or people who have nothing to do, people who can’t sleep or who don’t want to sleep. Excepting, of course, those with sinister purposes. Like everything in life, there are the good and there are the bad: it wouldn’t work any other way.

Most normal people would probably be asleep right now, dreaming wonderous dreams or horrifying nightmares or even trapped in a limbo of dreamlessness. But I’m generally not one of those “normal people,” and it’s times like these, at 4am on a Saturday night/Sunday morning, that I end up finding things to do. Like, for instance, write a useless blog post.

The world is dead around me right now. And I enjoy that.

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