When you’re single, there is a time of day I refer to as the Twitching Hour. It’s different for everyone, but I imagine, unless you are a spectacularly well adjusted person who is perfectly content being alone (not lonely but alone), you may know what time of day I’m referring to. Work is done. Chores are done. Dinner has been consumed. And you have many hours stretched out before you where all you can think is, “What is an acceptable time for me to go to bed?” I call it the Twitching Hour because I don’t know what to do with myself, or how to fill my time, and the anxiety that produces practically makes me twitch like a meth head.
Here’s how my Twitching Hour generally goes: I’m done with work by 3:30, done with walking the dog by 4:30, done with dinner and chores by 5:30. And then I have a desolate wasteland of time before me with which to do god knows what. Sometimes, I will spend literally 4 hours swiping left and right until my gd hand is cramped up. Sometimes, I will read but get so distracted by the heavy quiet that that usually lasts about 30 minutes. Sometimes, I will watch 30 Rock or Parks and Rec or Arrested Development for endless hours, barely paying attention because it’s my 7th time running through the series.
The point is this–it’s lonely and I am lonely. And I think about the things I would be doing if I had a partner in crime. Making dinner together and watching a movie. Going out for drinks at a beer garden and enjoying the warm, setting sun. TALKING OUT LOUD TO SOMEONE OTHER THAN THE DOG. I don’t ask for much, and yet these things feel so far out of reach that they seem to exist on a plane that I don’t have access to. I know I romanticize relationships–and I always have and probably will continue to do so until I am in one–but the fact is that it seems like a nice, lovely thing to not have to bear the silence of 4-6 hours when the light is fading, when you’re sitting around twiddling your thumbs, when you try to think of things to do but come up short each night.
People ask me why I go to bed at 8:30 many nights of the week. I say it’s because I am tired and wake up really early.
But I’ll tell you a secret.
I don’t wake up that early. And I’m never really that tired.
I am, perhaps, wasting my precious life away.