The Three O’Clock Hour: Short Essay

There is a lost hour in the night.

When you’re in your twenties, it’s perfectly acceptable to stay awake until 2 am. “Drinks taste better after 2am!” the party girls would shout from the open windows of their beat-up Acuras. But is that the case after 3 am? Or do drinks turn sour and stale as the inevitable transition occurs from casual winks to forty winks?

When you’re “of a certain age,” 4 am is a perfectly acceptable time to wake up. Farmers make their pot of coffee and don their snake boots to brave the chilly, morning air to feed restless chickens or nervous cows. But why so early? Does coffee taste better in the early dawn where the sky is still a deep indigo and the silence is palpable?

What happens at 3 am when the “until” is passed? The twenty-one year old girl struggling to get her key in the door and the farmer whose body repairs in its sleep are both shut down together in this single hour they share.

Who takes care of us when yesterday and tomorrow are blurred?


This was from a writing prompt I read before a restless sleep. Clearly it influenced by stream of consciousness as I wrote blindly in the lost hour.

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