lagged jets

Wide awake at 3 a.m. and jonesing for toast. Nasty when you can't turn the lights on (nor find the lights when you've long-lost your glasses on a Polish train and haven't been bothered to get a new pair) because you can't see to find the switch, and, even if you could find it, the light would bleed into the one bedroom, that of course, has no door. The joys of crashing on the floor of the 'rents' one-bedroom flat are many. There will be toast, just much, much later. Until then I huddle (with a sweater! but it is winter, even on islands with palm trees) reading by public-park light and digging toes in sand. There are crabs, side-scuttling, across the beach that's also very much in the dark at 3 a.m., but the stars are liquid and the water warm and the sunrise a good four, nay five hours away. At 4:30 a.m. another night wanderer, east-coaster, comes wandering out and is frozen by the sight of a moving beach, of crabs playing catch-me-if-you-can with increasingly angry waves. He can't be more than 7, and leans almost 45-degrees into the beach, straining to see it all but not move an inch further for fright. Nervous fingers button and unbutton a new Hawaiian shirt and then sweat is wiped from sweaty palms on knees. The light arrives; the boy disappears, to drag out a sleepy father and point, energetically, at the crabs who have long dug holes under us to snooze the warming day away. I've read almost 200 pages in the hours between stars and dawn, and am ready for dinner. Or toast. Whatever comes first.