Sleeping More Than Four Hours a Night Plus Sunshine Turns Life Into a Vi@gra Commercial for a Brief Period (and Some Joyce)

The lack of sleeping properly for more than three or four hours in a row continues. At first it was annoying, because I’m not so good on the emotional front when I lose sleep for more than two nights running. After the first two days, I felt energetic and dead sluggish intermittently peppered with weepy episodes. When sleep was still not forthcoming after the first couple of days, I became more socially paranoiac than my usually insecure self and began to have delusions that I was roundly disliked by all and merely tolerated by a very few. By the time work ended on Friday, I was so relieved to not have to socially interact due to work for another couple of days that my nose ran from the tears I was hiding all the way home on the bus. I am well aware today how pathetic that sounds, but getting by on only three or four hours of sleep for a week really does a number on my brain chemistry. It’s at times like those that I re-think my decision not to fill that X@nax prescription that a terribly elderly doctor gave me when I came in complaining of heartburn.

Then, just when I thought I would be able to sleep for a good uninterrupted stretch on a Saturday morning, a girl in distress had to knock on my door. Another possibility of decent sleep was dashed, and instead I was up at 5 am making coffee and hearing the story of what it was like to be a naïve young woman who was set upon by a sociopath who may or may not have been planning on totally physically fucking her up. My plans for unconsciousness on Saturday morning were a complete bust.

Oh, but Saturday night was dreamy. Well, it didn’t start out so dreamy, but then it became dreamier and dreamier as the evening wore on. I went out for a huge meal with Friday and Ladybug to a restaurant that charges way too much to allow kids under twelve to be there in any numbers, and there were numbers of the under-twelves there at a nearby table. When I crave bloody steak and garlic mashed potatoes that cost $30, I like to feel that I am dining in a place that is a cut above the kind of average family restaurant that has annoying pre-recorded birthday songs topped off with stupid hats. To be truthful, this place didn’t have that kind of thing, but the kids were reminiscent of it, and the point is that I didn’t want to be feeling like I was eating in a $10 restaurant when I knew I was going to fork over three times that amount by the time I got out of there. Also, our waitress forgot to refill our waters the entire time. And there was a hair on Ladybug’s skewered shrimp. Obviously, this was not the dreamier and dreamier part, although the bloody meat was a bit dreamy and certainly delish.

What was good was how that large chunk of bloody beef weighed me down for several hours, making me feel lazy and sated and like I didn’t want anything more other than sleep. Even if the more was not more food, I did not want for it. My anxiety of late was strangled into submission by 10 ounces of grade-A bovine flesh. I have got all sorts of really good reasons to back up a decision to quit eating beef forever, but nothing works on white-noise anxiety like it does.

When I arrived home after our supper out, I was exhausted. All of the hours that I had not slept over the previous week seemed to catch up with me. My muscles ached as though they needed to stretch and stretch and stretch some more. My eyes felt puffy and moist. My brain kept snapping between a clear version of waking reality and a shifting vision of imagined scenarios. It was fabulous. I lay awake reading until my magazine hit the floor, and then I rolled over and didn’t wake up for another eight hours. It was bliss. I had long and involved dreams that were not unsettling, I did not wake up due to feeling extreme cold or heat, and my bladder didn’t have me running across the apartment before the sun came up.

Having one good night’s sleep after a week of almost nothing meant that I woke up on Sunday morning with the worst sleep hangover that @dvil, a hot bath, and good coffee could not destroy from the beginning of the day until its end, but I did not mind. I was on the road to recovery, and I was willing to suffer miserably on my way to well-rested mental and physical health.

Since then, I haven’t been getting my desired eight hours, but I have been getting more than four, so I’m hardly complaining. What I am getting in for sleep seems to be enough to help my brain even itself out so that I have now stopped crying over the photocopier at work. Thank god.

Today, the weather topped off my journey to a higher level of well-being. It was freaking beautiful outside. The sun was shining and the wind was slight, so I was actually able to go for a walk without pain of frostbite for the first time in weeks. It was glorious. I’m not kidding. I even found myself humming the Mennonite-famous “I Sing the Mighty Power of God” to myself as I passed beneath an archway of elms. It just about brings out the old religion in me when a brief episode of my life turns into a Vi@gra commercial.

"Sleep Now, O Sleep Now" by James Joyce

An International View and a List, because It's Friday, and Lists Are Easy

Dumping Plus Happiness (and Some Milosz)