Saturday, December 02, 2017

Sitting in the dark

“Do you sit in the dark all day?”

One of the painters asks me this. The crews and I have been here for a week but this fellow is new today and is not familiar with my routine and probably thinks I work here full time because I’m an apparent guard and I’m in an apparent guard station which is lined with camera monitors (turned off) and thick one-way mirrored glass.

I’ve been escorting the crews which do upgrades to the jail cells which surround this station and which link to the court rooms. It is normally police and special constables who work in this station but we’re only here evenings and weekends when no prisoners are here and no judge would be caught dead at work.

I have no court-related work to do. I’m sitting at a workstation doing stuff on my laptop: end-of-novel-month community stuff, some first-draft work on the novel, drafting emails for later copy-pasting when I’m online again, some movie reviews, a gofundme enterprise through which I propose to blow up planet Earth, and… this blog post.

The bright lights of the hallways and my adjacent bathroom are on and lend themselves through both wide-open doors. More importantly, all my work is done on the lap top and the screen provides exactly the right amount of light for that.

The first evening here the boss painter said the same thing. “Why are you sitting in the dark?”

“I’ve got all the light I need. I can see everything I need to see.”

“Oh, so it’s a conservation thing,” he says confidently.

“No, I just don’t like unnecessary light. It shines into my eyes for no reason.” (and I’m fine with the conservation angle.)

What is wrong with darkness? It is natural. There is much of it in the universe.

I much prefer visiting with people in low light; lamp light; indirect light. I’m even very comfortable visiting with people in downright gloom where I can barely see them but I can hear their voices with unfettered senses and feel closer to their thoughts. Even children at sleepover parties know it’s better to talk with the lights out.

I’ve always found direct light a garish distraction; I’ve always arranged indirect lighting when hosting company and threatened to cut off Long Time Companion’s fingers if he won’t stop turning on the god damned chandeliers.

“We like our expected company to feel welcome,” say my current house mates when I ask if I can turn off the ten billion candlepower front foyer chandelier of mass destruction which cuts through every border of my bedroom door and door frame distracting me when I’m trying to fall asleep and which greets me with retina-searing trauma when I wake up and must slip out of bed for a quick pee in the bathroom right adjacent my room and which triggers suns-up bio-clock-resetting instincts assuring I will not be able to get back to sleep again no matter how badly I need it.

I think about asking my house mates if their company is expected to arrive by ship and if they think we’re living on a dark stormy coastline, but then reconsider.

I like light for football games and housecleaning and lost contact lenses.

And of course for torture. My old pal who had been an interrogator for the American military and who later parleyed his manipulation skills into a highly successful sales career and a permanently emotionally damaged ex-wife confirmed that it’s not just Hollywood: he did indeed shine lights into prisoners’ faces.

What is wrong with darkness?

Darkness is the place where all great wisdom is born.

It is where human babies are born.

And dreams.

It is where stars can be seen.

It is the dark beyond the window which allows us to see ourselves in it.


IntrepidReader said...

I also prefer darkness to glaring light. I like the night time and the soft glow of lamps or candles. I feel safer at night, which I know is unusual. My favourite to walk my dog in downtown Hamilton was after midnight. Anyway, where do I go to find your GoFundMe page?

Fantasy Writer Guy said...

You can't afford it!