Friday, May 21, 2010

Days of Flaming Motorcycles

Oh, man. Working graveyard shift really screws up my sense of time. Like, I go to work on Thursday night, and two hours later it's Friday morning. This makes it pretty damn confusing when I have to sign and date things.

It's situations like this which help illustrate how artificial the nature of time truly is. When the morning shift comes in at 6:30 am and asks me how yesterday was, I get very confused, because the yesterday they're talking about started only 8 hours ago for me; from my perspective, yesterday is what I did before my last sleep cycle, which of course was when they were working their previous shift.

I just want to know which genius it was who decided that the day turned over at midnight. For a diurnal species like ours, this strikes me as utter, arbitrary bullshit. Most normal people wake up around dawn and go to work; this is when their actual workday begins. Why doesn't the actual calendar day start at 6am? To me this is a more natural and logical demarcation of time ("The day starts when the sun rises") than the current system ("The day starts halfway through a period of darkness").

I suspect this shall become fodder for Pellatarrum soon enough.

Anyway, I am still kind of fried as my body adjusts to working through the night. I can do the work, no problem, but after I get home I have about an hour to unwind before my body demands "Sleep now!" and then I'm out until mid-afternoon. Which is cool and all, because I love me some afternoon naps, and I can slowly wake up and get stuff done before having to go to work. My biggest problem is getting the writer part of my brain to cooperate, because it likes to come online hours after I've woken up, which means I have all these great ideas while I'm working but no desire to write them after I've slept the next day.

And speaking of writing and strange demarcations of time, I will smoothly segue into telling you to go read Catherynne Valente's story, "The Days of Flaming Motorcycles," for an interestingly spiritual take on the zombie apocalypse.

1 comment:

  1. Well. We consider Noon "the middle of the day" so I suppose that Midnight was chosen because it was the opposite.
    If we were going to choose the "activity divider" it's probably 0400 though as humans on a normal day rythm are usually as hard asleep as possible at this time. And humans on night watch tend to feel that this is the hour where it's the most difficult to stay awake.

    In a world like Pellatarum though the day should start at dawn as that is the natural division.
    Night in Pellatarum isn't just a lack of light/activity, it has substance.


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