The Witching Hour

Not a sound from the pavement
Has the moon lost her memory?
She is smiling alone
In the lamplight
The withered leaves collect at my feet
And the wind begins to moan
All alone in the moonlight
I can smile at the old days. . .  Memory, Cats, the musical, Andrew Lloyd Webber

When the house is quiet, and everyone is asleep, it’s amazing how many people are still awake in the cyberworld. I have a theory that conversations have a tendency towards a transparency that can only happen after the witching hour. I remember rambly phone conversations (what’s that?) in the dead of night, sharing hopes and fears, the unknown future, the stuff of teen angst. It’s different now, there’s a depth to topics no matter how superficial, inside jokes, Freudian slips. We have the courage now.

The funny thing is that midnight is never a big deal when you’re a teen. It’s like the night just got started and you’re all revved up. It’s when names start popping up like Jacks-in-the-box in the left corner of the screen. Its when your favourite TV serial comes on cable, and when you get that second wind.

Midnight conversations happen anywhere, of course. In corner coffeshops, deserted shopping malls, at the dock of a bay. Chatter that is on a white screen, popping up out of the blue–these could be mere blips of quips, chits rather than chats, but the mind races with thoughts and word pictures and lines of songs long forgotten. And somewhere across the island–or across an ocean or two–a friend holds the other end of the loop.

Someone beeped me, asking for an ordinary something. Then she made a comment about her chocolate bar from my recent trip to New York. Before you could say “Beam me up, Scottie!” we were riding on a stream of chatter that swerved from the silly to the gross (stuffing candybars into shoes, going back to half-eaten lollipops) to observations about what it takes to be good, really good, at something. [Roughly, 10,000 hours.]

Since I’ve accumulated more than 10,000 hours as a musician, I am now setting my sights in the field of words. Thus, my foray into all things resonant and dissonant, wordwise.

Some highlights of the inane and somewhat comical chat.

Friend: Thanks for the “Beauty Bar” [name of chocolate]. Interesting wrapper. . . I wonder you didn’t get me the Bochox one.

Me: Ahh. . . Bochox ones? I don’t think you need any. But I saw an “Ugly” bar.

Friend: Now THAT sounds interesting. There was one for Queens. I wondered about that; turns out it was meant for gays. Tee hee.

Me: Oh!!! Now I get it! I saw that too, but was quite puzzled! Men like me just don’t get it! I thought it was the Queen of English Land’s Concoction.

*    *    *    *

It gets worse. Here’s another sample.

Me: &-@

Friend: Say, is that a lolly? It looks like a rose.

Me: Yes!!

Friend: Yes lolly, or Yes rose? 😛

Me: There is no lolli sign on the keyboard la. . . yes Lolly la. . .

*    *    *    *

If you have samples of inane after-midnight conversations, do post your comments here.


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