Twilight Zone

We are now entering the twilight zone. We have a matter of weeks until the end of this semester. This is the time when twilight’s slim gleam shines over the horizon, and it’ll grow if you’ll nurture it. I know you don’t have time to change your routine, not at this time of the semester, not when you’re trying to make study time, not when you’re rushing to an exam, not when you’re only catching four-and-a-half hours of sleep every night.

The trick to turning that twilight into a glorious red dawn is just treating yourself, one treat, every day — just a little thing that makes you happy, a little thing that tosses time out the window and lets you swim in the sweetness of living, in a safe cabin of happiness secluded from this heavy life.

Now this “twilight zone” could also apply to the release of the new “Twilight” movie, “Breaking Dawn: Part 2,” which should be the last “Twilight” movie for a while. There’s one way to treat yourself. If you’re a “Twilight” fan, after a hellish week’s work, go see this movie. Revel in it. Stare at the lines of Robert Pattinson’s bones. Follow the curves of Kristen Stewart. Buy a soda and a popcorn.

People have been camping out. And yet when I camp out for “Lincoln,” people tear down my tent.

My go-to source of twilight is java. Joe. Rocket fuel. And that it is. Man, a real nice cup will send me burning up into the atmosphere.

You have to enjoy it. I’m not caffeine dependent. There are awful, awful days when I don’t have coffee and I’m physically okay, but I miss it: the taste, the warmth, the companionship. I miss the ideas I get when I drink the right coffee blend. It lights a fuse somewhere in the old noggin. If you’re writing an essay, try a different blend every time you make a cup of coffee until you get the right mix.

Just in the time you’ve been reading this, we’ve gotten a hell of a lot closer to the end. See? It’s working.

Reading. Read a book. Nothing slams the brakes on your speeding car like lying down and cracking a book. Reading opposes stress like a brick wall opposes a bird. You have to single-mindedly focus on your book. Your mind can’t bounce from fear to fear like a tennis ball. Your breathing slows. That bed feels comfortable under your back. You have some support. Your heart calms down. By the time you’re done, not only are you closer to the twilight, you’re calm and ready to continue. And if that book you cracked was written by Chandler, Hammett, MacDonald or Robert B. Parker, you might’ve enjoyed a damn good read, too, one of those experiences that reminds us what living feels like. Like drinking coffee. Maybe like seeing “Breaking Dawn: Part 2.”

Now there’s something: “Breaking Dawn” arriving at the end of the semester. At the feet of the twilight zone. That’s pretty sunny.

— Tom Benton