A series of late nights, early mornings, strange shifts from being up before the sun to sleeping in until noon, late day vats of too-strong coffee and syncopated eating schedules. Your ability sleep reliably is gone somewhere, off the tracks. After a nap, deep black and far too long, it’s 11:30pm and you’re up and eating breakfast and ready for… what?

This is a tiny fragment of a day, one that you could mistake for the real thing if you don’t play close attention. And not paying close attention is essential. Overthink things and you’ll notice your real life, sitting in class, commuting to work, living somewhere in the daylight, both ominously stalking closer and tantalizingly out of reach. But don’t focus on the grainy, bloodshot eyes, slowed wits and softly murmuring headache that tomorrow may well hold. These hours are strange, rare things.

This is a not-quite-right simulacrum of your life. Everything’s right where you left it, but you need to figure out how to use it again. Wear something you’d never wear during the day. Go for a walk and have lunch at 3 am at an all-night restaurant. Bake. Read something you’ve owned for years but never picked up. Listen to old albums you have on CD. (or cassette. or wax cylinder.) If you play your cards right, whatever you do will be just odd enough and you’ll have been awake (before sleep finally takes hold) for just the right amount of time, that when you wake up in the morning proper all that will be left of your few lost hours is a recollection of a dream that was a lot like your day-to-day. Bemused and bleary, relish that dissonance when you trip over a stack of dusty alt-rock jewel cases and find fresh oatmeal chocolate-chip cookies on the kitchen counter.