WHEN I SLEEP…

When I was very young – about 6 or 7 years old – I watched a vampire movie. I cannot recall how it came that I watched it or why no-one stopped me, but I do remember thinking that I must be one of them. A vampire, I mean. And not because of blood lust. That seemed utterly gross. But because the vampires in the movie slept by day and ‘lived’ by night.

And that made sense to me on a foundational level…

I know, I know. There are early birds and there are night owls. For as long as I have had memory I’ve been called a night owl, but I’ve also always known that my condition, if you will, is much more severe than that. Calling me a night owl is like calling Jeff Bezos monetarily comfortable.

During working weeks I go to bed late. I’ve tried to turn in earlier but it doesn’t feel normal, I’m letting my people down! But during weekends and especially during periods of leave I switch my day and night around completely.

When the sun peaks out and its arms stretch across the sky, that’s when I turn in. Peace descends on me as the subtle sounds of neighborly activity signal the coming to life of the world. The mom to my left takes her dogs for an early morning walk and try as she might, she never succeeds in opening their rusty old gate without it screeching and screaming at 6000 decibels.

To my left the retired couple out-noise their dogs. Screamers. Behind me the neighbors are quietly sleeping off the effects of another boozy gettogether, but their swimming pool filter hums gently as proof that life will return to the house.

Somewhere far off the soothing sound of the scrambler bike travels from one point to the next as its driver delivers newspapers…

I will sleep until after lunch. I’ll be hotter than I like. And I’ll curse myself for my sleeping habits when I see missed calls and unanswered texts on my phone and realize that I only have half a day of light remaining to do what I’d planned to do. Then I’ll have ‘breakfast’ at around 2pm and lunch at 3pm because damnit I cannot skip a meal. My eyelids will feel heavy and I’ll find a spot to rest my eyes for a bit…which never stays just a bit. Naps ensue.

Late tonight, when everyone and everything scurry back into their holes to rest and recharge, I come alive. I work, I read, I write, I ponder, I worry, I generate ideas, I solve problems, I command my universe according to my will.

And then I’m compelled back into my cocoon when daylight returns.

I have no idea what ungodly things have happened to my system of melatonin secretion. I also fear that this practice has shortened my life by about 3000 years. What a wonderful world this would have been if we could choose whether to function at night or by day…

The sun is here. I must return to my coffin…

2 comments

  1. I too have tried sleeping early, but that just doesn’t happen! Maybe it’s my teenage years of following this schedule that’s the reason.

    Now that I have to wake up early for work, I find myself just functioning off less sleep. I’ve tried being responsible and sleeping earlier, but I just can’t. Oh well. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

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