Monday, July 25, 2016

good night, good morning

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?

21 comments:

  1. I love the fact that you've figured out how to live in this world under your own terms. In so many ways. I always knew you were brilliant and you continue to prove this to be so.

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    1. Pft. I'm just not great at faking it.

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  2. I don't know you but you appear brilliant to me.

    I think one of the reasons I started reading your other blog was because caught my attention with being a night owl. I loved working nights! In the day I slept like the dead. That doesn't happen for me now. I sort of sleep at night and walk around in fog all day long. My new job requires me to be up at 6:30 in the morning and I have to say that is killing me in pieces.

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    1. I will never do that again. Never. I know I can live at this pay level, and so I do not need to ruin myself if I don't want to. You have all my sympathy. Hey, do you have Facebook?

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    2. Yup! I would love to add you. I am Barbara G-W

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  3. Oh Hank, I am right there with you! I retired 11 years ago and finally get to live and sleep on my own schedule. My body likes to go to sleep between 2 and 4 and sleep till around noon. Heaven I tell ya! I always thought I was an insomniac but no, just circadian rhythm disorder. I sleep quite perfectly on MY time. I wish I were different but have come to accept it as it's just who I am, like having curly hair and being petrified of frogs (I know you understand that one too!)
    So very happy you are blogging again. Now if yall can get May to start blogging again also then the trifecta will be complete!
    love to you,
    Angie D

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    1. FROGS! Why do they scare me so?

      I would love for May to blog again. May, are you hearing us?

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    2. May's writing is lace and bone and cold white wine... I wish she'd start again too.

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    3. Votes for May to start writing again!

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  4. my daughter is exactly like you. She is awake at night and must, must sleep until noon. It took a long time for both of us to "get" this but now life is good for her. She is a massage therapist and can call her own hours. People are just who they are and when we get ahold of that, life is so much better.
    Me, I just don't sleep, haven't since I was about 25 so now I take meds. to do it and it works pretty good for me...that's just who I am too.
    Glad you figured that out for yourself.

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  5. I'm glad to hear your daughter has it worked out. I can't express how much happier I am to be able to follow my needed patterns.

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  6. I wonder what percentage of the population would be day sleepers if they had the choice of finding their own best rhythms...

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    1. Not as many as daywalkers, I suspect, but more than now.

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  7. I am also a creature of the night. A true moongal! I am old now so sleep and wake when the hell l like Here's to all us nocturnal family x

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  8. Maggi the Bril and nocturnal that is

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  9. Maggi the Bril and nocturnal that is

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  10. I am also a creature of the night. A true moongal! I am old now so sleep and wake when the hell l like Here's to all us nocturnal family x

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    1. To us! It just seems like more interesting things happen at night.

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