The dead of night was my best time. The time I could be myself and no one would bother me. The middle of the night was when I did my best writing and my best painting because I could zone out and not worry about whatever everyone else was thinking.
I had grown up in a house where the arts weren’t taken seriously so if I wanted to do anything creative, I would set my alarm for two or three AM and stay awake for an hour to at least get a little writing or sketching before going back to sleep before my school alarm went off at seven AM.
When I got to college, I kept my old ways alive for a while, but my roommate quickly tired of the multiple alarms going off. We finally cut a deal that I would only set one alarm for six AM and head to the dorm lobby to write. I agreed to this partially because I had been so surprised our dorm had a coffee shop in the lobby. Sometimes I still woke up in the middle of the night with an itch to paint, mostly when I had nightmares about home. Nightmares about the screaming fits and the refusal to bend. Nightmares that my parents occupations even though I knew I was doing everything I could to not follow in their path.
The worst of the nightmares came every Saturday night when I knew church was coming the next morning.