*Our paying subscribers can now listen to full audio versions of some of Juke’s most-loved essays. Last month was “Driving Lessons: The Audio Version.” This month is Paul Vlachos’ “The Witching Hour,” which was published in August and remains one of our most-read posts. Everyone else can hit play for a free preview. And check out the original piece, linked below, if you haven’t read it before…TM*
What happens when you wake up in the middle of the night?…
“It’s when you wake up in the middle of the night - in my case it’s usually 4am or thereabouts - and the mind starts to work.
“And it never goes to hopeful, uplifting things. I don’t know why, but that’s when the dark thoughts visit. That’s when I lie awake and worry about money or sickness or plans gone awry. Not plans that actually have gone awry, but plans that might go south. Future tripping. The wreckage of a future that may or may not come.
“It has never been easy to quiet my mind. It seems to run in the family. I remember a long time ago, when I was so small that my dad would carry me around. He would carry me around before dawn in that old house in Yonkers. We’d stand at the front window and look out onto the dark, dead-end street and he’d say quietly, ‘Are we going to make it?’
“He was really saying it to himself. He was a child of the Great Depression and those dogs of financial fear hounded him for a very long time.
“I’m not sure if those same worries hound me as much as they did my father, but I wake up at the same ungodly hour and don’t have a toddler to inflict my own fears on. I’d never wake up the dog at that hour, although I’m sure he’d be there for me. I let him sleep. He spends all day on watch, on patrol, and comes to bed only when he knows I’m down for the night. He deserves to sleep. We all deserve to sleep.
“Or do we?”
Read the full piece here…
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Paul Vlachos is a writer, photographer and filmmaker. He was born in New York City, where he currently lives. He is the author of “The Space Age Now,” released in 2020, “Breaking Gravity,” in 2021, and the just-released “Exit Culture.”