He likes to be the alpha male and he is very good at it. When he is sober he is not just good at concealing his emotions but also at not feeling them. But there is an air of melancholy about his blood-shot red drunk eyes as if he is significantly more experienced than all of us on the outside but morbidly worn out inside. He is my midnight friend. He is the new sound of water dripping in the sink.

I find comfort in the smell of alcohol lingering on his clothes, sleeping to the sound of him snoring and silently seeing him vanish from the worldly dimension while in company of many and then coming back to life upon hearing his name being called by one of us.

I have often seen him whirl into nonexistence among the crowd of drunk college students without any warning but  he always comes back for me. And, when my eyes meet his gaze from across the room full of multicolored clouds of smoke I know it is time to head home. And then I make him reconsider our friendship by demanding a hug after every two minutes in my slurry babbling speech. He complies and gives me warm hugs in the middle of the cold campus of our college. I know he finds me cute when my eyelids are heavy with sleepiness but my will to stay up and talk to him is heavier. I can see he enjoys taking care of me. But he can’t see how I look at him when we are alone.

He is my midnight friend because as soon as the sun rises and I leave his warm bed we move oceans and deserts apart. We’re two different worlds who only collide after the clock hits 12.


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