Sunday, January 5, 2014

Carpe Noctem

No one looks back on their life and remembers the nights they got plenty of sleep. - Author Unknown

Years ago Ernest Hemingway wrote that there was no night life in Spain: "They stay up late but they get up late. That is not night life. That is delaying the day. Night life is when you get up with a hangover in the morning. Night life is when everybody says what the hell and you do not remember who paid the bill. Night life goes round and round and you look at the wall to make it stop. Night life comes out of a bottle and goes into a jar. If you think how much are the drinks it is not night life.” 

So there might not be a night life in Spain and Spaniards are simply people who go to bed late, but even in Spain you will find an occasional nocturnal being who enjoys night much more than he enjoys the day. 

The night attracts many different characters: the noble and the shady; the adventurous and the bored. At night rules of the game change and the reason is suspended with all the seriousness of a bluffing gambler. With every glass of champagne we are willing to reveal persona that normally does not exist in the bright light. 

The night is a perfect time for self revelation, but also a perfect time for complete oblivion. Do we chose what we want to be or does this simply happen in the context of the night? Do all the masks fall off or do we put a mask to hide what should never be revealed? Do we lose ourselves or do we find ourselves at night? And does it matter? 

Carpe noctem! The ball season is open. At least in Vienna...

By Dominique Allmon