Three A.M.

It is 3 am and my eyes are drooping as readily as my spirits. It is 3 am and most of my fellow students have been dreaming for hours. Maybe I have been dreaming, too. That would certainly explain how the mild ceiling lights flash like lightning with every blink. Maybe it is only in my delirious mind, soaked in a concentrated solution of caffeine, stress, and over-read notes. This night it is the latest economics problem set that has rendered my brain a useless instrument. I keep puffing, but the same tune keeps playing. Wrong answer. Wrong answer. There is no one to ask for help now. After all, it is 3 am.

The night is too quiet for my brain to keep up this frantic urgency. Everyone else is moving at a lethargic pace now, their dreams changing with the consistency of maple syrup. I want to be drowning with them. Theirs is a slow-developing paradise, mine is a never-ending purgatory. The sun will not raise his cheery, golden head for another few hours yet. With the lightening skies, comes a renewed confidence, one borne of a culminating desperation. One does not grow hopeful without dancing on the edge of the abyss. But even that dangerous hope is still far away; for now, the night remains stubbornly irresolute. Detail become lost and everything becomes shaded within indefinite lines. Even the music that pounds in my ears becomes a fuzz. What are they saying? It doesn’t matter anymore; all that matters is what I’m trying to say. Wrong answer. Wrong answer. Wrong answer.

I don’t know why I keep trying. Futile efforts wasting passing minutes until I must acknowledge that I haven’t been moving, probably haven’t shifted since at least 1 am. But this is the penance I pay for my incompetence earlier in the day. Avoiding responsibilities is easiest when you can see them. Why had I spent those precious hours browsing the web? In the depths of the night, these questions lack meaning. I can erase all the consequences of my careless distraction if only I can find the right answer. Right answer. Even that has begun to lack meaning. It is 3 am and there seems to be no journey and no end. No significance and no insignificance. Every action may have some unknown, weighted meaning. If only I could get some sleep, I might be able to divine it. But right now, I may as well grasp at the lengthening shadows.

It is 4 am and I am slipping into bed. Already, unconsciousness is sinking its soft claws into my consciousness. I will have to wake up soon, blinking away sleep in the blinding light. And then I will yearn for the grey quiet of 3 am once again.

Corrina Lee

Corrina is a senior majoring in Economics. In her spare time, she enjoys watching movies and television and telling herself that she has time to spare. Someday, she hopes to own a cat.

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