‘Burning the midnight oil’ is an interesting phrase, one that means someone is working overtime at the office till late at night, or early next morning.
You know, “Been burning the midnight oil again, Frank?”
It prompted me to look up its real meaning. It goes back to the days before electricity where a worker toiled on into the night using only an oil lamp or candles.
In my office, I have recently installed led lights that not only save electricity, but they are also so bright you would think it was a television studio.
Not quite the atmosphere needed when looking for inspiration. That inspiration might be better attained in more subdued light, perhaps that proverbial oil lamp or candles.
That aside, those hours leading up to and after midnight are the best time for me to write. At times the silence is deafening, another rather quaint but relatively true expression. At others, there are what I call the sounds of silence, which for some reason are much easier to hear than during the daylight hours.
The bark of a dog.
The rustle of leaves in the trees.
The soft pattering of rain on the roof.
The sound of a train or truck horn from a long way away.
The sound of a truck using its brakes on the highway, also a long way away.
The sound of people talking in the street.
I’ve never really thought about it until now, but it will be something I can use in one of my stories.
Perhaps it will be the theme of another. A conversation, or parts of it, overheard, the commissioning of a crime, and not knowing who it is.
Damn, sidetracked again!