What is your favorite time of day? Why?
This is somewhat difficult to decide. I’m really not sure I have just one answer.
On the one hand, there is something to be said for the evening, when all our daily obligations have been settled. In the evening, I sometimes accompany Londo to the Humans' cocktail hour. I don’t usually drink, but the conversation is good- and watching Londo smile and laugh is even better. He’s always much happier when he has the chance to entertain a crowd.
In the evening, cocktail hour or not, Londo and I almost always share supper together. Most of the time, I prepare it myself, which I find a pleasant, distracting challenge. Then, depending on who might be visiting the station on a particular night, we may take in a show, which usually leads to a discussion, which usually leads to Londo teasing me, which I don’t mind at all. In fact, I miss all of that when he’s away.
In the evening, I always bathe. Londo’s hand is in this too. He was the one who negotiated with the other diplomatic delegations to buy their unused water rations. He’s also given me oils and soaps and other things as gifts. For my first few years on the station, I lived without a bath, and I survived, certainly. But I would be lying if I said I didn’t fully enjoy the opportunity now. Back home, of course, I could stay in the bath for far longer, replenishing when the water grew cold. Still, even here, I stay until my fingers wrinkle and the bubbles disappear. I like closing my eyes and just breathing in the scent of the soap and the oil and the steam, letting all my muscles loosen after a long day.
In the evening, after washing, I wiggle into my nightclothes and curl up under my sheets, which is always a wonderful sensation when I’m tired. Sometimes, for a little while, I lie awake reading, though if I do go to bed with a book, I almost always fall asleep mid-sentence, the book still on my chest.
At least, that’s how my evenings go on normal, relatively quiet days. On normal days, perhaps I do like the evenings the most.
Lately, though, I’m afraid normal days have become not quite so normal. Lately, I’ve started to appreciate the morning.
I usually rise between 05:00 and 06:00 Standard, which is a little earlier than needed most days, but gives me time for a sort of personal ritual that I’ve made a daily habit since the war. Every morning, after I’ve dressed for the day, I go for a walk. I visit the gardens and sit for a time, listening to the cycling of the hydroponics systems, the whir of the passing central transport tube- all the sounds of the station waking up. Sometimes, if I’m lucky, I see a crop of flowers bloom, or smell a newly ripe crop of fruit. Maybe it seems strange to some of you, but all of this helps to remind me that we are still here- that life goes on and that a lot of it is amazing and good.
Then, after the gardens, I go to the Sanctuary alone to look for our star. Looking for home reminds me why I’m here and who I serve. But seeing our star as one among many also reminds me that we are not alone in the universe. That all of us came from the stars. That there are mysteries and dangers out there that are better faced when we have allies. That we rise and fall together and that together, we are strong.
Finally, from an observation port, I watch the sunrise on Epsilon 3. Sunrise in space is starker, but still beautiful in its way. It still helps me to remember that every day begins in hope and promise. And when things are especially bad, that hope can make a lot of difference. When things are difficult, morning means new beginnings, new chances, new opportunities to make things right.
When there is trouble, I think I like mornings the most.