I’ve always worked late, since I was 16 – getting home at night has always been interesting, to say the least – especially when I was a vaguely androgynous gay boy – my friend has always been my skill with words, or at least with a quip that distracts. 
Once or twice they’ve been terrible, those terrible night people, but I feel kin to most of them – I’ve gotten into my fair share of trouble for walking home alone but I love the peace, when I get to empty spaces – city centres bereft of the horde are incredible – sober, after the drunks have gone home, and before the morning folk arrive. 
To keep me safe? Or probably just to help when you’re alone in these spaces that are unused to people at this time, I’ve always kept a friend close. Keys clutched between knuckles or a waiters friend twirling between them . I’d keep it close to me, but alleyways familiar in day are filled with shadows and threat at night – I’ve lived down several. 
We keep our friends close and our protection closer, though I’ve never ha the chance to use it, I’m not sure I couldn’t. It keeps me feeling protected, though I couldn’t hurt them, the times I’ve been a cornered lion I wouldn’t cope, I’ve dealt with, later. 
A hood did the same when I was young, headphones to block out everything. 
the night folk can be strange, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world, I’m a night owl and I’ll take that over rush hour immolation every week, or I think. The quiet places that strike the city at night are something unique, more precious than anything I’ve ever known. – snow angels in the backstreets of Bath or a glimpse of summer sunrise over Yorks walls at a time when nobody else is even stirring . 

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