Lately my nights have been filled with patchy dreams and idiot head chatter. Garbled headlines and pandemic waves. American hallucinations and the Sturm und Drang of digital living. Last night I forgot how to fall asleep, and I faced the solitude of the three o’clock in the morning mind, those thin hours when the soul races like a lunatic puppy, fetching unpleasant memories and scraps of regret for inspection.

More people die during the black and blue hours just before dawn than any other time, disappearing in car crashes, heart attacks, overdoses, and suicides. They call it the hour of the wolf, and I think it’s reassuring there’s a name for this time, that others feel it too. In his 1968 film of the same name, Bergman describes these in-between hours as the time “when sleep is deepest, when nightmares are most real. It is the hour when the sleepless are haunted by their deepest fears, when ghosts and demons are most powerful. But the hour of the wolf is also the hour when most children are born.”

A piece of gut-punch wisdom from Deadwood comes to mind: “We’re all of us haunted by our own fucking thoughts. So make friends with the ghost—it ain’t goin’ fucking anywhere.”