by Vincent Ternida
As a child, I envied those who would stay up past midnight. They spoke of the TV shows that children would only dream of catching. They would talk of the empty streets, mysteries, and ghost stories. I was curious and would stay up late, trying to catch that envied moment. I never made it past ten thirty. I made friends with fellow vampires during my twenties. We would scour the streets of Quezon City, partaking in the scavenger hunt of open eateries, internet cafes, and other entertainment halls. We would play multiplayer games until three and eat rice porridge with pork offal and hard boiled eggs. We would start a band and take the later slots as we could rehearse our music. With call centers offering more graveyard shifts, the rush hour evened out in Metro Manila, the city never slept. Traffic jams would continue until four in the morning, giving no respite in the main artery that connected each business sector. I enjoyed my twenties to the point of excess, my days were twice as long, and I lived twice as hard. As I entered my thirties during my long sojourn in Vancouver, my attraction to nightfall fared terribly. My days became shorter and exhaustion set in. I would need three hours to wind down before succumbing to slumber. Such as my admission to the world of night, while my mortal body would exact a hefty toll for a lifetime of sleep debt.
--- I've always taken sleep for granted in my youth, as I enter middle age in this state of quarantine, I've realized how hard it is to get sleep these days.