Where’s the rub?

hermie and me

And now, a word about sleep.

In the past few weeks, sleep has become my primary activity.

I wake up each morning sometime around 6:00 a.m., and I take a handful of pills. Laughingly enough, one is supposed to fill me with energy (and must be taken an hour before I eat anything, so I can’t have a nice invigorating breakfast). I head over to my computer, and read Facebook, Drudge, my emails, and the stats for my blog (hey, thanks for reading!!!).  By then, I’ve started yawning a bit, but I usually make it to my armchair, where I put on the news, or watch the first of the day’s many house flips on HGN.

The next thing I know, it’s 1:00 p.m.

Shit! I fell asleep and wasted the morning! I rush to get the mail, and come back to the kitchen to throw it away and defrost a slab of meat.  Then I make a sandwich, or some soup. I take these into the living room, set them down next to the armchair, grab a couple of bites…

And I wake up. It is now 5:30.

I am exhausted.

I hope to God that the slab of meat has defrosted, and that I had the presence of mind to select something that can be cooked easily. Going into the kitchen to check on its thawing, I realize that I am starving, and grab a box of something cheesy and effortless. Back to the armchair! I don’t necessarily fall asleep at this point, but I do slip into a peculiar form of coma, from which I only emerge when my husband walks through the door.

Shit! I haven’t cooked dinner!

I put the poor meat through its paces, as I heat up some rice or potatoes to fill our plates. I dutifully nuke some veggies so our aging colons receive an illusion of roughage…my husband’s can be fooled more easily than mine can, but at least the effort has been made.

Then I have dinner with that dear, hard-working man. I listen to the vicissitudes of his day, and hope sincerely that he doesn’t ask what I’ve done with myself while he was out working. It’s kind of evident. The house looks no better than it did the day before, and neither does his wife. If he’s had a particularly rough day (and who in customer service hasn’t?), I listen to him threaten to throw in the towel, either to find another job, or to devote the rest of his life to fishing. I pray this will pass.

I clear the table. I return to the armchair.

They’re still flipping houses on HGN. If I’m tired of watching that, Steve Harvey is still doing some great double takes on “Family Feud.” I stretch out, and the cat jumps up on my chest. I breathe at the same rate she purrs… and the next thing I know, it’s 3:00 a.m. Time to leave the armchair and go to bed.

Now I can get back to doing what I really do: I sleep.

I love sleeping. I am never tired when I am asleep. I am never old. I am never fatigued, and I can walk for miles. For days. I can sing. I can dance. I can fly.

I always have something to do in my sleep. I spend a lot of time in the office, but often, I’m back in college… or in the theater. I do an awful lot of traveling, too. Just this morning I was in London, trying to catch a taxi near Hyde Park. And I spend a lot of time in Aruba… usually by the pool, but sometimes boarding a ship that’s headed for an unknown nearby island.

I love the people who populate my dreams. I meet celebrities all the time when I’m asleep and they’re usually the nicest people! I also see my daytime companions in my dreams, but they sometimes play different roles than they do in my waking life— my husband has, in turn, been my lover, my brother, my father, my co-worker, and that cute, unreachable guy I can never get the nerve to approach. My kids have been babies and adults… wise and foolish… single and married… earthbound and flying. My friends show up as freely as they did before we had jobs and houses and spouses and reasons to make getting together “an event.”

My parents are alive, and we have the most complex relationships! Sometimes we get along, and sometimes we really fight, but in my dreams, we always, always, tell each other the truth.

The world in which I sleep appears richer, freer, healthier and infinitely more exciting than the one I inhabit when I am awake, and as it draws me into its realm more easily and more frequently, I am afraid it will tear me away completely from the world I am supposed to be inhabiting. Every day, staying awake is harder and less desirable.

I suppose that is something I should try to reverse.

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