It’s Dark at 3am.

Sometimes at night I wake and am not exactly sure how long I’ve been so, my eyes open and staring at patterns the too bright light across the street makes on our bedroom ceiling. It’s so quiet, even with the windows still open to let the cool Fall night air in. Everything is still.

I have no reason to be awake at this hour. No worries, no dreams to think about. And assuming I’ve had enough sleep for the night, I feel my way into the closet for my slippers and a sweatshirt and head downstairs, my dog following me as she always does. The stairs aren’t easy for her anymore.

The early morning sky is still dark, and I stand just outside the patio door while the dog takes care of her business, not quite wanting to venture too far away from me. She worries that I’ll leave her out there alone, and I know that if I could see her eyes, they’d register that concern. The stars are bright and I can see the Big Dipper hanging heavily, nearly touching the shadowy horizon in the East, each star twinkling weakly. I take my usual count and notice the Small Dipper as well, more brightly than I have in some time. And there’s the star that’s red and most likely long dead now, its light still traveling to us from so far away.

The dog and I quietly go back inside, she wagging her tail for the expected Milkbone she’s gotten since she was a puppy for not peeing in the house, and I to risk the beeps of the microwave to heat up a cup of stale coffee.

It’s Monday, isn’t it? It doesn’t matter so much anymore, but this Monday the RTR begins his week off school for the holiday, and we take on our third week of construction. Maybe that’s why I’m sitting here instead of falling back to sleep. It’s quiet, and I can sit in the glow of my screen and not see the shambles my house is in. There are no hammers or saws, nor questions to answer about decisions that will cost more money.

So here I sit. Thinking about nothing in particular and waiting for the sounds of the day to begin so I can make a real pot of coffee without waking the others up.

In the meantime, I’ll listen to the hissing of the refrigerator, and the snorts my cat is making, chewing on her fleas.