I walk my dog at midnight, sometimes at one or two in the morning. The streets are empty. The sky glitters with stars. Sometimes the moon lights my way. We don’t go far. Down the road, across town sometimes. Down to the tree-lined avenue, then back up again. Sometimes I’ll go around the block – and sometimes we’ll walk along the cemetary. Mostly, we go past the music school, down the street to the corner, then across the railroad bridge and back. It’s nice, on a warm, moonlit night, to go to the little park down the hill. Sometimes I see my friend, Corine, who is as insomniac as I am, and we chat. Mostly I’m alone, and Auguste pulls me here and there, sometimes I let him decide.

I have always been insomniac, staying up to read, to think, to listen to music. When I do go to bed, I fall asleep easily, so it doesn’t bother me. I just don’t like to go to bed early. I prefer the evening. Mornings are too full of bustle and noise – especially where I live, near the train station. People rushing back and forth, cars, busses, bikes… the café down the street is full, and tables and chairs line the sidewalk. People sit and sip coffee, smoke, look at their watches, and dash for the train. The bakery is crowded, the smell of fresh baked bread floats on the breeze. In the mornings, people drop their children off at the nursery; I see fathers pushing strollers with their briefcases propped on the backs. Women power-walk their kids to school, “One, two, one two! Come on, hurry up!” There are skateboards and trotters, bikes and joggers. When my husband isn’t around to walk the dog in the morning, I’m bleary-eyed, staring at the crowd, wondering where everyone is going. (MostlyParis – there are a lot of commuters here). I like to buy fresh bread for my morning coffee – but oh, the noise!

So evening comes, and after spending the day at the office with phone calls and making appointments, and non-stop talking, smiling, talking, explaining, more smiling, and more talking…I’m worn out. Acting happy all the time exhausts me – even though I think I’m mostly happy all the time. It’s the perky happy office voice that wipes me out. So I come home, and when everyone is finally in bed and asleep – there is silence. Blessed silence. My husband is a TV addict and can’t live without background noise. I wait until everyone is sleeping, then I take the dog for a walk, and we stargaze.

That’s what I really love to do. Look up at the night sky, and stargaze. Then we go home, I slide into bed and put cold feet on my husband’s warm legs (he’s always warm and cuddly), and I think about the stars, and how I’d love to have a spaceship to discover new worlds, or just to see the sights of the galaxy close up.

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