Graveyard shifts

Ross and I have been taking turns working graveyard shifts, midnight to 8 a.m. Here’s what I’ve learned since I started beginning my day when others end theirs.

  • Seeing the sun rise in Manhattan more than makes up for the inconvenience. I know I’m blowing my cover when I say this, but at 20 to 7 this morning, I snuck off into the stairwell, up past the 26th floor, onto the roof. I cracked an orange juice. I listened really, really hard. Even though the surrounding skyscrapers block direct views of the sun — especially at the street level, where bleary-eyed ants scurry to and from Starbucks in near-total darkness —the view from the roof offers a remarkable perspective of the day’s nascence. The sound, though, is even better. No cars, no horns — just the noise of a few air vents and the expectant calm before another full day of ingenuity and culture and human achievement.
  • Everyone’s on their grind. I got on the subway at 11:30 p.m., myself a little bleary-eyed as I trekked into work. As soon as the A left Kingston-Throop, I heard: “Alright, alright here we go. I’m your candyman today, tonight, tomorrow, forever.” A guy who I’ll call Fat Ving Rhames unzipped a loaded suitcase. This was my first experience with nutcrackers. His pitch was just a recitation of Kendrick Lamar. “I know your Wednesdays, people. Sit down, drank. Stand up, drank. Pass out, drank. Wake up, drank.” He also sold Newports and pirated pornos. Entrepreneurialism.
  • Having a beer after work reminds me of college. Yesterday I pounded a McGriddle, shotgunned a Coors Light and walked Chief before I went to bed. I call it the Bed-Stuyathlon. I think this should be a ghettolympic event. Hey, it’s not every day I wake up before they take breakfast off the menu. Carpe McGriddle.

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