The magic of being out after dark

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Spence and I went out last night — after working all day.

To Annapolis, a 50-minute cruise from home.

On a Wednesday.

To a loud, awesome concert.

It was . . . weird. Very fun. I felt young and old all at once, being out “past my bedtime” a good drive from home, sipping a cherry blossom lager that tasted like joy and smiling at my husband.

My husband. It still catches me sometimes . . . in a great way.

At 28, I often feel like the oldest young person I know. It’s not unusual to find me collapsed on the couch by 9:30 p.m., snoozing in a very unladylike fashion with a home show playing softly in the background. Back in college, I was a night owl constantly burning the midnight oil — because I had to. Commuting to school with a full course load and working part-time at the bookstore until far after dark, I got used to a rigorous schedule and running on fumes.

But things have changed. I’ve gotten more comfortable, perhaps a little lazier. I work full-time and “clock out” at 5 p.m., when we spend our evenings doing this and that. Without the chaos of year-long wedding planning times two, I find myself with so much free time now.

I love it, really. And it also makes early nighttime snoozes possible . . . but through this cold, cold winter, I’ve felt a little restless.

That’s why Wednesday night felt good — great, even. Live music. Good company. Chatting with strangers. Being out. After being encrusted with snow and ice for so long, even in the cold night air? It made me feel alive.

I remembered the early days when Spencer and I went to Annapolis just a month after we met, walking around the city for his birthday and still getting to know each other. He actually bought me a copy of Nicole Atkins’ album — the woman we saw perform last night — at a Borders that was still in business then. We listened to it the whole way home, the words pouring warm through our opened windows.

Four years later, I know all those songs by heart.


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