Being late

Being late is almost never good, unless you are trying to have a baby. Otherwise, it’s pretty much a drag. The other night I was up late. I even wrote about it. I was up late again last night, once again dealing with a tragic and unavoidable urge to play video games (damn you to hell, Xbox).

The question remains (despite the Xbox scourge), why am I staying up so late? Come with me as I take you on a tour through my mind. Don’t worry. It shouldn’t take long.

When I think of the primary reason why I stay up late at night, I am reminded of the immortal George Mallory. He’s dead now, so I guess he’s not really immortal – but his words are. He once said, “Because it’s there.” A little context may be helpful here. He was, of course, answering the question “why climb Everest?” (Or something like that, if not those exact words.) Sure, I could go to bed at a reasonable hour, but where’s the challenge in that? Isn’t challenge an essential building block of the human spirit? I owe it to myself, and damn it – all of mankind, to stay up late. You can thank me later (when I’m doing my service to God and country). Although when you consider that Mallory died on Everest, maybe he isn’t such a good example for this piece.

Something my wife asked me the other morning pretty much sums up my second reason. She asked me, “Did I wake up when you came to bed last night?” I cannot tell a lie, the first thing that came to mind was, “holy crap, this is the perfect opportunity to lie.” That’s right friends, my mind holds irony in high regard. It’s obvious that the answer didn’t really matter, awake or not; she didn’t notice, and that’s what is really important. Hell, it may be the MOST important component of staying up late: the unperturbed spouse.

The third reason is a conglomeration of many related little reasons. It’s the stuff you add to a recipe to make it thicker. It’s the water they add to mixed drinks to maximize profits. It’s, well, it’s in many ways what this web site is all about. It’s different for everyone, but for me it’s our Xbox, our DVR, this web site, my PowerBook, lefty-liberal-commie-bastard news sites, or just about anything involving an ass planted in a chair. The bottom line: I can’t go to sleep until I’ve filled my daily ass planting quota.

Challenge. Opportunity. Ass planting. It’s why I stay up.