On Display

see you after midnight

an on display collaboration : midnight

October 31. 2000

somewhat appropriate:


I wish I had some pictures from when we went to Battery Park in July, but I don't, so there's another subway pic: 14th street station. I love this one, it has a high ceiling. Very atmospheric.

John works third shift, midnight to 8 am, at some place in New York City's Financial District near the World Trade Center. He showed me the building where he works when we were walking near Battery Park back at the beginning of July, it's a tall but boring looking building that overlooks the Hudson. I closed my eyes and tried to imagine the small, windowless room he works in on the 25th floor.

"Don't you miss having windows?" I asked him once, envisioning a beautiful view of the Battery and the Hudson.

He reminded me, once again, that it was night when he was working, so it really didn't matter one way or another.

When I first met him it took a while for me to get used to this idea. I couldn't imagine working at night and sleeping during the day, but as I got to know John I realized that a lot of people do it. I'm a nightowl, so the times when I was staying up late coincided perfectly with when he was at work.

We started talking through email in earnest during last year's winter break. I was home, and would be up until 4 or 5 am talking and emailing with him about everything. If that wasn't a harbinger of love, I don't know what is.

Almost every weekday night goes like this: right before he leaves for work at around 11:15, he always asks me over IM, "Will you be around after midnight?" Sometimes I'm too tired to stay up, and I have to say no, but when I say yes, those few hours after midnight are the most special we spend together, even though we're a hundred miles apart talking to each other on a computer.

I've spent hours upon hours in front of the computer, my fingers clicking away at the keys, a vague smile on my face as I read what he's written. If it's cold I'm wrapped in a blanket,the only light is the one shining down right above me. Usually I have something to eat by my side, I guess that explains why my keyboard looks so disgusting, little bits of food and crumbs encrusting it. Good thing keyboards are cheap and easily replaced.

Sometimes we just exchange a few emails, him saying "I have too much work, I can't talk right now", but when it's slow at his work we can exchange dozens of emails over the night, on many different subjects. We ask each other questions, talk about my webpage, talk about his webpage, until I finally have to email him saying, "I'm sleepy, I think I'm going to bed now." But I know when I get up in the morning there will be one or more emails from him saying hello, good morning, and wishing me a good day.

I complain a lot about our relationship being long distance. It's been hard sometimes, but I wouldn't have it any other way. I treasure the time we spend talking on the computer. Although most of our communication is broken down into kilobytes and sent across phone wires, the words we write to each other are just as important as the ones we exchange when we're together. And because of that the times after midnight are the best of all.

One Year Ago:
A trip to South Street, supplies at Pearl, cheap Pizza, I fall in love with Dream Theater