I used to be seconds from falling asleep at all times. I slept through high school, arms curled around my head to block the morning light, drooling and trying to stay aware enough to not miss the bell between classes. I nodded off in the car at red lights if I didn't sing along with the radio or pinch myself hard enough to leave bruises. I drifted out in staff meetings, notebooks and pens dropping from suddenly open hands - after a while, they just let me mind the office phones instead of embarrassing myself again. I napped in waiting rooms, crashed halfway through movies. Add alcohol to the mix and I developed a reputation for passing out in the strangest places - legend tells that I once crawled up on an amp next to the stage at a punk show and began happily snoring while the bass player dripped ice on my head.
The less said about public bathrooms the better.
I thought I was narcoleptic. Most of America manages to wake up in the morning and make it through to bedtime without problems. With fewer problems, anyway. More sleep, less sleep, it didn't matter. This was my fate. This was life. I got good at lucid dreaming because I taught myself to check the nearest clock when I thought I might be in a dreamstate - if the numbers stayed where they should be, I was awake and everything simply felt vaguely unreal.
In 2011, I got laid off from my state job. At the time, I was furious - all the shit I did that I could have been fired for, it was an insult to be cut loose just because Rick Scott decided that Florida didn't need health care workers or office staff. I got unemployment. I got into Community College. And I let myself sleep when I wanted to.
A whole new life. An awake life. I tumble into my covers in the early hours, as the mockingbirds begin to imitate and dawn begins to peep. As daywalkers, those fools, groan and hit the alarm and reach for coffee cups. I dream through morning and into early afternoon and open my eyes smiling. The world is real; it's alive and so am I. Goddam it, why did it take this long?