The hours between 2am and dawn are when the thin rubber gloves of pleasant, socially obligated interaction come off. They are the hours when you’re a more stripped-down, honest, stranger version of yourself. Ideally, we would not be held accountable for the well-being of anyone or anything during these hours, yet people get sick, oil is still coming out of the ground, and highways are at their emptiest—waiting to be worked on.
These witching hours are either a quiet purgatory or blacked-out wilderness, rarely something in between. Those who have worked a night shift understand how surreal it is to be doing what the rest of the world does during human, light-filled hours. I’ve been routinely searching #Nightshift on Instagram since the New York Times ran a piece on it last January. Try it when you can’t sleep and need to feel less alone.
#Nightshift, above all, expresses solidarity. You need comfort during this time, and that comes in the form of a shot of your Starbucks order, a selfie that you know will garner at least a few likes in the morning, and memes that aren’t all that funny but also articulate how you feel better than you could really really hope to at that particular moment.
The crowning achievement of this particular #Nightshift deep dive was discovering the world’s most insanely hot, how-is-this-even-real doctor.
This woman! WHAT IN THE HELL IS HAPPENING! Dr. Merita Waldorf, according to her bio, is both a Doctor of Medicine and Fancy Lifestyle Enthusiast. She’s what would result if Julie Cooper, Lisa Ann, and Sophia Loren morphed together and went to med school. I know for a fact this woman intimidates any man she comes within 20 miles of.
Each one of these photos unmistakably says “You up? I’m up.” And that is why #Nightshift is the realest hashtag on Instagram.
Photo via André Hofmeister/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)