Another 3 a.m. awake and wondering at the things that have changed and the things that haven’t because that girl you danced with on some Saturday night was not the girl you would’ve found yourself dancing with a year ago and not just because she was a belly dancer and beautiful besides but because you never would have sat down next her and started the conversation where for a moment the whole party disappeared although you’re not sure you had anything in common because you found yourself looking at her long legs and not because she towered over you (though she was tall) but rather because her legs were rather nice and then you danced the last dance at some prom themed party and you were glad for a moment that you didn’t go to prom because she was wearing high heels and this black dress and you were in jeans and flip-flops probably smelling of pizza and beer and so it wasn’t perfection but rather this awkward thing of you turning her and then the smile that she gave you as you left as you were walking through the door wondering why you were leaving because that smile said you shouldn’t be leaving although leaving was more important at the time because you needed to see about a friend and even if you had got her number you probably wouldn’t have called her anyways but of course now it’s 3 a.m. and days later and some part of you is asking the question about why you like your solitude so much and how come you never really let anyone in.

Another 3 a.m. and you remember the feeling of shuffling your chips after a night of playing cards because it has been too long and these are the people you missed and not just for taking their money because they take yours nearly as often now but for the stories told without missing a beat and the subtleties and personalities and new faces and though you somehow found yourself winning the first round you aren’t sure that you played very well but rather the cards came your direction as some welcome back gift from the gods and then you flash back to driving to the game and finding yourself looking up at your old apartment and forgetting for a moment that you have been gone for a year and there was this moment of panic because the lights were on and you were wondering who had invaded your space but then the realization hit that it isn’t your apartment anymore and then 3 a.m. rolls by once again.

Another 3 a.m. after a night of reggae and hip hop and new faces and old and it is strange because it is the part of your life that is easiest to come back to because it was the part that was just starting when you left and the place that you felt most comfortable although it is still surprising to you and a part of your life that only a few of your friends have seen and maybe it is for the better for now because some things need to remain your own because at 3 a.m. there are moments when you’re not sure why you came back anymore than you are sure why you left in the first place.

Another 3 a.m. and laughing about the advice that was given to you by a friend who asked if you had been to a strip club in the afternoon yet since being unemployed and your answer was “No” and he laughed and said something like, “Good, you have to wait until you get your first unemployment check because you will never love America more than when when you are stuffing unemployment dollars into some stripper’s underwear in the middle of the afternoon” and then how you laughed and mocked the go-go dancer because she was walking your direction and you both were coming up with brilliant things to say to her like, “Why exactly do they call them fishnets?” and “Can you actually catch fish with those?” and you are wondering why there is a go-go dancer there in the first place because it is just a bar with a band playing and you remembering a night at the Casbah with a certain friend and this girl who was smoking and you were talking shit but that night ended late and this night ends early but you are still awake and full of energy at 3 a.m. and wondering about why every night feels so different now.

Another 3 a.m and another run on sentence because it is 3 a.m. and you don’t give a fuck.

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