At 3 a.m., my thoughts take over.
They call it the devil's hour and maybe that's just it. The devil plays my life on a projector and one by one the scenes come rushing in.
I look at the moon and wonder if it will rain tomorrow. I think about how chilly the water would feel against my skin, and how familiar that sensation is. Standing on the deserted shore, arms stretched out, and the ruminative thoughts at rest.
I wonder how the tides look underneath the moon. I imagine the moon's reflection gracefully dancing on the surface. I think about that one time I swam across the ocean, a proud moment after months of training to compete in an open water race.
Something I did to prove to myself that 25 wasn't too old. I then think about how naive I was at 25 now at 33.
I think about the three strangers I met on the beach in Bali– two Germans, and one American. We cheered to our serendipitous meeting with bottles of Bintangs, talking politics, the culture of beer, and Christmas markets. The Germans talked about military life and Instagram names. With his endearing smile, the American offered to share his chair with me.
I think back to the day of my high school graduation and how I stood on stage, excited that I had my whole life ahead of me. I then think back to my college graduation day and how I wish I were on stage at my high school graduation day.
I think about my dad and the last words I said to him. They were along the lines of "I'll call you on your birthday." I think about whether or not he thought about me before he took his last breath and left the world just three days before his birthday.
I think about the small Beanie Baby doll Ethan gifted me when I left the small suburban town in California. And I think about the bracelet my mother had gifted me when I went away to college, both items I had mysteriously lost moving into four apartments, a dorm room, and across the Pacific Blue.
I think about Gerard, the boy I loved when I was nine, and Zach, who I only think about at 3 a.m. because it’s too painful to think of him any other time. I think about the friends I wouldn't have made if I hadn't returned to my home island of Guam. I also think of all the friendships I would've strengthened if I remained in San Francisco.
A song flutters through my mind. A part of my life soundtrack – Ryuichi Sakamoto's "energy flow," a song I had begun learning on the piano, but never retained as a memory. Had I practiced enough, I wonder if I would have turned to music as an outlet rather than unhealthy binges and vices.
I wonder how my life would have looked if I had grown up in Japan instead of America. With my black hair and almond eyes would I have blended in enough or would my round hips and thick thighs give it away that I'm only but half? I wonder if speaking Japanese fluently and English partially would have changed my relationships with my parents.
These musings arise at 3 a.m., the so-called devil's hour that summons the ghosts of the past, a recurring film in my late-night reflections. We, each and every one of us, are spectators and actors in this unfolding narrative that we call life. And how beautiful is it to immerse in the complexity of the human experience.