Mathew Mackie

Night people discrimination: Tonight, can the streets be ours?

Approx Reading Time-11Forget the other election – the most crucial issue facing Australia is the discrimination that 50 percent of us face. The night people. We’ve got a plan to fix it.

 


I walk with a silent mass, eyes blushed with the blackest of black bags, minds creaking an infinite grey. Those people you see every morning and look down at; I am one of them.

I am a night person.

But before you Daybreakers roll and scoff, with your open eyes, in our general direction, know this: it’s plain discrimination. You hate us because we’re different. You hate us because you don’t understand us. But we can’t help who we are.

We don’t blame you, you’re merely projecting what you’ve been taught. But what is learned can be unlearned.

For years, we’ve all been spoon-fed anti-Nightie auspices:

“The Early bird gets the worm.”
“Up and at ’em.”
“Daylight’s wastin’.”

Due to this, night people are viewed as lazy. The oft-repeated mantra “What are you still doing in bed? It’s morning!” throughout my youth made me believe I was lazy, or perhaps narcoleptic. On some level, maybe I was, but ever since I’ve taken writing seriously, I’ve discovered who I am: a Nightie. Before that, I rebelled at the fact that my brain woke at 2pm and became electric at 10pm. No earlier. No matter how much I forced it.

It’s just not me.

You may chortle, and dismiss, but you’d just be reinforcing the pattern.


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While this article is written in jest, it’s a serious issue. Throughout schooling, and in the working world, the Daybreakers rule. The system is set. Early up, early to bed. When arriving at work, you are expected to be on your game. Time’s ticking. For my kind, the lunch break is breakfast. We don’t suffer from the 3pm drag, we suffer from the 10am void. Due to our true productivity sitting outside normative office hours, how far can we realistically climb?

If you were the boss, who would you choose? The zesty go-getter, or half-dead mumbling cretin?

All we’re asking is for equal opportunity. You may say that business hours are those hours because people are open for business. Perhaps, yes. But what if we were to extend those hours to the less familiar places on the clock? Who would the customers be? Well, of the same ilk of who would staff them. If the quest of capitalism is the dollar, then why limit ourselves to half of the day? It may be vast fantasy in my book, but the dream of catching the early train (5pm) to the office, brain afire, synapses adjusting to the tasks at hand…the entire staff, day and night en fuego.

It could be working for you, Australia, but you’re throwing it away.

Work is one thing, but the practicalities of life are another. The world of food marches to the same dirge of the working world. Everything is closed by 8-9ish in the suburbs, perhaps later in the metro centres, but that in itself births another problem. Being a night person is dangerous as fuck. We’re unable to walk the streets as freely as our morning cousins. Evening transport is Russian roulette with a machine-gun. Accepting that you’re already dead is the only way to brave our travels. While junkies run on their own clock, it’s the remnants of day people, drunk off their particulars, who place us at risk during our mid-morning (11pm) walk. So we avoid large sections of the city. Alleys are a no-go, as are parks, train stations, 7-Eleven’s, whatever. Would you deal with a rash of drunken night people yahoos ruining your aperitif? Hell, no.

If we are to change things, then K-Mart is the genesis of what we seek. It is open at night, staffed by night people, for those who shop at night. It merely represents the start, for we can no longer ingest Dunlop Volleys. We need the roller doors of injustice rent asunder to grant us the ambrosia of the gods that is 3am Woolworths. How sweet that’d be. Able to do that evening’s shopping, with fresh produce, not the vestiges of yesterday’s perishables.

It means little to you, morning people, because you’re already in bed. Eyes closed, issue solved. But that feeling you get at 2am is the feeling we get at 7am. The drag, and wishing for death is equal, even if only the clock reads different. Are we so different? Well, as it stands, there is a difference – in how we’re seen, and what we have access to. We all dance the same steps in the short can-can at the Clube Life, and I’ll be fucked if I settle for anything less than what I deserve, which is the same as everyone else.

Which is the beauty of this plan. You don’t need to do anything. We’ll take care of it, we won’t wake you. The only contact you’ll have with us would be the crossover in morning light, and those faces who wish you a good evening will be cut wide with warm grins, en route to confines of bed.

Goodnight.

 

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