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The Night Water 500th Subscriber Spectacular
A Q&A with the Night Water community
Newsletter subscribers! They’re so mysterious. To quote the poet Marianne Boruch:
"Why did they keep coming, one by one radiant, dark of a mind paused to this most desolate given: water at night."
Whenever some new stranger comes to drink with us at the Night Water Cooler, I ask myself: why do they keep coming? Where did they first hear rumor of the endless spring of refreshing content, sent weekly via email?
“I literally don’t remember,” wrote in one wayfaring subscriber. “My boss made me sign up,” said another. “I was at a 30th birthday party when I was introduced to the author,” subscriber Bruce Grizzly recalled. “We spoke of LearnedLeague and the variety of water tastes and I was overjoyed to be included into the Night Water Society.”
When Night Water reached its fateful first anniversary in February, I tried to imagine a future subscriber count. How many of us would be gathered around the Night Water Cooler by February 2023? I put a conservative guess at 334, double our numbers at the time, with 500 subscribers as a stretch goal beyond my wildest dreams.
Well, on October 6, 2022, almost four months after the 400th subscriber joined the fold, our 500th subscriber took a long sip from the bedside water carafe and first ingested that refreshing, late-night content. In lieu of our longstanding tradition of subscriber Q&As with milestone members, I’ve decided to switch things up here for our 500th subscriber spectacular and survey the community’s vibes.
Who are Night Water’s subscribers, and what are their deals?
“I’m a night shift support worker at a homeless shelter,” wrote subscriber jasoncomely. “I love chilling to jazz and ambient music. I go out for runs late into the night when I have the energy.”
Subscriber Chickenboy, meanwhile, is “passionate about raising chickens.”
Among Night Water’s many readers are high-powered media executives like Lindsey P. Solomon, who runs the fashion PR firm Lindsey Media. Remember that if you’re ever interested in some highly targeted advertising.
Favorite Night Water so far?
Night Water is known for tackling an eclectic collection of topics. Was there anything in particular that our survey respondents loved?
“Ranking/discussion of Lucozades is always a hit with me,” wrote Laura. “I am British after all. It gives me a rare case of patriotism.”
Many respondents noted that they enjoyed two recent posts, “Let’s judge some books by their covers” and “PSA: Remove ‘Zombie’ by The Cranberries from your Halloween playlists,” suggesting either that long-term memory is not a strong suit of Night Water subscribers or that my written content has just gotten more and more refreshing over time.
What does “late night vibes” mean to Night Water subscribers?
Of course, I couldn’t resist asking Night Water subscribers the most important question of all: what does the phrase “late night vibes” mean to you?
“Taco Bell,” said Jean the Bean, a human with a rhyming nickname and not an ingredient in a fast food menu item.
“The liminal feeling I get from being up late when no one else is,” wrote Elizabeth P. “I got this feeling the most when I used to go on late night walks around campus with my roommate; it’s the only time of day where I actually feel a part of nature, the universe, etc.”
“Taco Bell,” echoed Lindsey P. Solomon.
“Sixer of High Life and a horror movie,” Cheddar Goblin, a serial entrepreneur who describes himself as “CEO of BroZero, Twzzlr, ProscuitbytheFoot, and beerlabeltable,” divulged.
“Chill, cool, relaxed,” wrote Jacquelyn. “It means sleep to me,” said Monty with a yawn. “Half-awake serentity, a good kind of quiet and solitude,” Sorryforlaughing responded. “The kind of relaxing you get excited for,” Chickenboy replied. “Hanging out on your own, no pressure just vibes,” Laura asserted.
“24/7 convenience stores, jazz and ambient,” jasoncomely imagined. “Synonyms include weirdness in a cool sort of way, big city lights, empty streets.”
“Late night vibes bring on a certain nostalgia of both the day past and other nights enjoyed,” wrote Bruce Grizzly. “I think of a reflective time, alone after a full day and evening of activity and stimulation, or shared with a smaller intimate few.”
“It’s a thirsty time as well,” Bruce added, “so grab some water.”
What’s next for Night Water?
Thank you to everyone who filled out the 500th subscriber spectacular survey and provided us all with this incredible content. And thanks to everyone reading this—Night Water would be a sad, lonely glass without you.
I’ll reassess subscriber goals next February when Night Water hits its terrible twos. In the meantime, however, continue to hound your friends and family to sign up for Night Water. Really become a zealot about it. Make it uncomfortable around the Thanksgiving dinner table.
Before we go, two questions for the community from fellow Night Water readers
Elizabeth P. asks “if anyone has any advice, tips, info about getting a job in the museum space? Kinda niche but my dream is to work in a museum despite how competitive and cut throat it all is, so if anyone has insights that would be awesome. I’m mostly interested in art and history museums (I wouldn’t have much to offer science museums unfortunately).”
If you have any advice for Elizabeth, please jump in the comments, which you can find below the web version of this email.
Patron saint Patrick Infurna says: “i’d like the readers to audit the author to see if this mf stops texting the gc at like 9:50 every night. leaving me to text alone. would be such a scandal if this man goes to sleep and then writes about late night vibes. mf better be sleep deprived. man better be tired a lot.”
Unfortunately for Patrick, any audit of my group chats will reveal that I regularly text past 9:50 every night. In times where I did stop texting in the evening, I’ll posit that sometimes, texting is not a late night vibe. However, if any Night Water reader wants to lead an organized audit of the GC, I welcome third-party oversight.