Thursday, July 23, 2009

Live Blogging a Sleepless Night

Most people experience nostalgia for things like acumen in sports or being pretty or living in a world where big decisions meant Froot Loops and Count Chocula. Personally, what I miss the most is sleep. I was the soundest sleeper in town. They told stories about it – how I used to nod off while watching TV (sitting upright) and have to be carried to bed, where I would wake 12 hours later happy and refreshed.

Then I reached a certain age, right around the time it became apparent that life wasn’t just one big Hardy Boys novel (action! suspense! no need whatsoever for disposable income!), and suddenly sleeping wasn’t so easy. I’d wake up early in the morning and immediately start thinking about life choices, get-rich quick schemes, and ways to avoid that awkward moment when you’re putting on a condom and the girl basically just sits there watching (excuse yourself to the bathroom?). You know, LIFE.

It’s gotten better, thanks to Ambien and the growing realization that 95% of what you do with your life doesn’t matter in the grand scheme (shout out, Camus!); but still sometimes I find myself wide awake at 4:00 a.m., unable to sleep, just thinking. This is how it happens.

3:59 a.m. I’m startled awake by a half-asleep Brooke trying to reposition my body in order to cuddle me. She gives up a few moments later, leaving me awake, violated.

4:25 a.m. I think of the TV show Medium. Every episode starts with Patricia Arquette’s husband being startled awake when she has another psychic nightmare. How has he not started sleeping in the spare room by now? For a show about a woman with psychic abilities, this is the most unbelievable part.

4:46 a.m. There is a nagging feeling that I forgot to do something before I went to bed. After ten minutes of racking my brain, I realize that what I forgot to do I set the TiVo for the So You Think You Can Dance results show. The fact that this is something on my to-do list leads me to consider the possibility that I need to do more things.

4:51 a.m. Here comes the urge to go to the bathroom. I’m hesitant to give in, though, because I’m convinced that the human body can get into “pee cycles” in which a person doesn’t really have to go, but thinks they do because they went at that time for the past two nights. The resulting catch-22 is that I can lay there, uncomfortable, not able to fall back to sleep, or I can go pee, thus perpetuating the cycle.

5:08 a.m. Defeated, I pee.

5:32 a.m. Some years ago, I devised a technique to help treat my insomnia. Because I always seem to fall back to sleep right as it’s time to actually wake up, I try to trick my brain into thinking that it is, in fact, time to wake up. “OK, five more minutes and we start the day!” I think, going so far as to swing one leg out of bed. Though the underlying theory is sound, in practice the tactic remains ineffective. This goes on for about 20 minutes.

5:52 a.m. Tactic #2: In order to distract my mind from the frustration of sleeplessness, I attempt to make a list of every girl I have ever kissed. The fact that I can’t do it fills me with a shameful pride prideful shame shameful pride.

6:10 a.m. Puppy jumps onto the bed and immediately walks over to sniff my face, presumably to make sure that I am alive and haven’t pulled the old switcheroo on him. (Note: The oldest switcheroo dates back to the time of pagan rituals. People who were going to be sacrificed to gods would find the corpse of someone who looked like them – everyone looked the same back then; you’ve seen the wall drawings – and place the corpse in their bed the morning of the sacrifice.) Satisfied that it is indeed me, Puppy lays on my pillow, forcing me to roll over in order to avoid the bizarrely intense corn chip odor from his paws.

6:33 a.m. Gentle weeping.

7:14 a.m. The sun comes pouring in through the cracks in the shades like this.

7:37 a.m. Resigned, I plan my morning. I will wake up and make coffee. I will take The Onion, which I have been receiving via mysterious free subscription for over a year now, out onto the balcony and watch the sun rise over the bay while laughing at hilariously crafted headlines like “Area Grandmother Tries Indian Food.” I’ll appreciate all the good things about life instead of bemoaning my restlessness. In fact, I will embrace the fact that I am not sleeping through these beautiful life moments, the ones that make each day special.

7:38 a.m. Doze off.

8:30 a.m. Get woken up by the alarm right at the point of my dream where the girl I randomly made out with freshman year of college uses her psychic powers to tell me who won on So You Think You Can Dance, then sets down her glass of Kool Aid, sniffs me face, cuddles up to me, and turns away so I can put the condom on in privacy.


This guy knows what I’m talking about.


Anonymous Erica said...

couldnt agree more, my parents still tell stories of how they carpeted my room while i was sleeping in it, moving the bed around with me on it, hammering, etc. Oh I yearn for those days.

July 23, 2009 at 4:16:00 PM EDT  
Blogger [mother] said...

Oops. The Onion is from me - a Christmas gift. Did I forget to tell you?

I also hate the "you don't have to pee but you really do" thing. I try to talk myself out of it only to give in and and weep as I sit. Followed by your father who goes and then pretends to fall back to sleep.

July 23, 2009 at 4:40:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sorry that I know that they actually did an episode where the medium's husband went to the doctor because he kept falling asleep everywhere. The doctor prescribed sleeping in another room. They just couldn't live that way though. He chose no sleep with his wife vs. blissful rest alone. Aw romance

July 23, 2009 at 4:41:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Trophy said...

Was just introduced to your blog...definitely entertaining. Love the Kool Aid sunshine.

July 23, 2009 at 5:21:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

[Mother], haha!! We should have known.

July 23, 2009 at 6:09:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Amber said...

Did you and Brooke abandon the Bachelorette? I can't watch handle watching it myself, so I just read your hilarious recaps. Am I never to know who won??

July 23, 2009 at 6:34:00 PM EDT  
Blogger miss. chief said...

holy crap, the dog's feet smell like corn chips? that's so funny. when i had a dog i'd always say her feet smelled like crackers and everyone would just laugh, but THEY DO!

July 23, 2009 at 6:37:00 PM EDT  
Blogger May-B said...

Nice Camus reference. I think he must have been an insomniac too.

July 23, 2009 at 6:48:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Erratic said...

My dog sniffs my breath to see if I am awake...I am not sure if I have "awake" breath and "asleep" breath, but I wake up constantly to a nose inches from my mouth.

Also that Medium marriage...some of the crazy ass shit she has done...he would have so left by now.

July 23, 2009 at 8:49:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Raz said...

I'm currently still at the stage in life where my most worrying problem is where my next drink is coming from. I sleep like a log.

Smug, much?

July 24, 2009 at 10:33:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

can we have another 1001 things i hate from brooke....please?

July 24, 2009 at 1:24:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Andi said...

I've always loved your blog, but since you pointed out the strange dog paw odor, I'm sticking around for sure. I thought nobody else noticed that...

July 24, 2009 at 11:10:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the dog paw odor smells like hay. It is only after they too have been sleeping. I will have to smell now with corn chips in mind to see if I can smell that too...

July 27, 2009 at 10:25:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Andi said...

It's not just us!

August 3, 2009 at 1:29:00 PM EDT  

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