Hey. It’s me, the 4:30 p.m. sunset. It’s come to my attention that you’ve all been saying some really mean things about me behind my back so, if you don’t mind, I’d like to take a moment here to defend myself.

First of all, you’ve been going on and on about how you can’t figure out why I would do this to you when we had such a nice summer together, back when I used to set at 8 p.m. or whatever. Is it just me, or did we actually not have that great a summer? I was all, “I’ve created the perfect backdrop for us to go sit on a crowded patio and drink mango margaritas,” and you were all, “But people are dying because of that,” which was a major drag for me.

You’ve also been saying things like, “How is it physically possible for the sun to be setting this early when the clocks only turned back by an hour?” In my defense, I’ve been playing this game for over one hundred years. I’ve never led any of you to believe that I can be tied down. Yet, every year, you’re “shocked,” “confused,” and “seasonally affected” by my actions. Get a grip.

All I’m saying is this sounds like a classic case of you not knowing what you’ve got till it’s gone and, damn, are your days of sunlight gone. But maybe you can all take comfort in the fact that I’m messing with everyone’s emotions equally. This isn’t just a you problem. Except for that one friend of yours who was like, “I kind of like it when it gets dark early!” That girl’s crazy. Can I get her number?

Anyway, let’s get back to the facts. All I’m doing is making it so that when you look up from your computer screen in the middle of the afternoon, it’s suddenly pitch black outside. Never once have I said, “You should start spiraling now.” And let me remind you that I’m definitely not the one saying you should make dinner at 4:45 p.m. simply because you don’t know how else to handle yourself. Grow up.

You’ve gotta take some responsibility here. We are our decisions, baby. Our actions define us. Take me, for example: I go down at 4:30 p.m. so I can give the people more time to turn up. That’s right, I bet you never even thought of it like that. You immediately jumped to what it is that I’m doing wrong—it’s never what I’m doing right.

Just think of all the kids out there. The late teens. The 21-year olds. All the dumb, invincible young adults using me as an opportunity to get blackout drunk at 6 p.m. because there’s nothing else to do and because countless universities would rather let students spread COVID like wildfire instead of lowering the cost of tuition so students can stay home. Those kids aren’t afraid of the dark. They’re certainly not afraid of death. They love me. Just a little something for you to think about, I guess.

Anyway, I really hope you’re able to see my side of things and not make this whole situation about yourself.

Ugh, are you crying?