In the early morning hours, when his insomnia would catch up to him and refuse to let him go, Dusk would roam his apartment like a tortured spirit unable to find peace in the hereafter. It was during this time that he did his best thinking and his best self-loathing. The longer Dusk stayed awake, aimlessly drifting through the shadows of his darkened apartment, mired in his loneliness, the stronger his self-loathing became. What was wrong with him? Why was he always alone?
Try as he may, Dusk couldn’t shake his stubborn feelings of melancholy and self-doubt. Dusk went about his routine that day as usual but his despair hovered over him like a cloud of ravenous gnats that refused to be dispersed no matter how violently he swatted them away. Dusk tried reading one of the books from the giant stack on his nightstand in an effort to focus on someone else’s problems. He tried listening to some of his favorite records, the ones that always cheered him up when he was feeling blue. When he was hungry, he made himself a bowl of macaroni and cheese. Yet, as the hours passed, the cloud of gnats grew thicker and more persistent. Dusk decided to visit his friend, Night, to discuss the problem. Whereas Dusk allowed his myriad neuroses to cloud his judgment, Night was always rational and clear thinking. Night never let feelings cloud his vision when it mattered. Maybe Night would be able to understand what he was going through, why he felt so sad. Maybe Night would know why he was always alone.
As Dusk meandered along the tree lined street that lead to his friend’s house, the cloud of gnats anxiously swarmed about his head. Shuffling on leaden feet, Dusk considered his life thus far. The longer he turned his life over and over in his mind as if it were an apple he was rinsing under a faucet, the more Dusk felt his life was full of mistakes. All, essentially, the same mistake endlessly repeated. One after another, after another. So, here he was again, turning to Night for help because he was utterly lost. Again. And he hoped Night could save him. Again.
Night greeted him at the door when he arrived. Dusk lurched inside and plopped down on the couch with a heavy sigh. The walk hadn’t helped to clear his head at all. A look of concern flashed across Night’s face. Dusk bent forward and cradled his head in his hands. Night’s eyebrows shot toward his hairline. He stood in front of Dusk, his eyes wide, holding a bottle of furniture polish in one hand and a dust rag in the other. Agitatedly, Night bounced on his toes as he waited for Dusk to speak. After a few minutes, Dusk lifted his head and intently stared at Night.
“Why doesn’t anyone love me for me?” Dusk asked Night. “People either find me depressing because I remind them that Day is leaving or they find me exciting only because I remind them that you’re on your way,” Dusk said. Night stood in contemplative silence for a moment, seemingly mulling over this delicate dilemma with great care. He had stopped bouncing on his toes. The furniture polish and dust rag hung limply by his sides. “Well,” Night said, “maybe you should try being more distinctive.”