This is Day 3 of me carrying around a cantaloupe at the top of my spine. I'm busy figuring out how to bend over without actually bending over because my head is full of fluid that my body has made in response to invading germs. I am a heavy headed weak necked sinus infection afflicted being. Let's make that into a catchy singsong.[sorry, maximum dosages of sudafed affect us all differently]
You know that thing I love to do so much and am so good at? That sleep that I have never had trouble with and look forward to at the end of my day ever since I was born? Can't do it. Every time I even try to sneak in a bit of horizontal positioning, it feels like my face is being pulled and pinned down by Lilliputians.
I'm up. I'm up in the middle of the night and I've been up since Sunday. Save for dozing off into some mac and cheese about five hours ago. So, this inability to sleep isn't so much about insomnia, because lord lord lord I could fall asleep with my head on the way to the pillow right.now. but once my skull gets there - I can't. My head weighs too much, the sensation of fluid feels like floooooooiiiidddddddd. Fluid is liquid, it weighs. And now we're back to the weak necked bobbly headed dilemma again where I just sit, awake [because you know, I can't be horizontal] and contemplate. Does my head feel like it's cement? A water balloon? Maybe more like wet papier mache?
As with all things that happen to us, we learn to live a few days in the life of another. For years I have heard my friends lament while they wave their fists at the sky Why?! Why?! Why you do this to me, insomnia!! but I've never understood just how strange it is to be awake while others slumber.
Nights feel much longer than days.
In days, when you're awake, you've got company. You've got people to look at and be with and roam around with. They keep you feeling part of something, even if you don't talk to them. Also, there is daylight, which helps to pass the time, which makes you feel less like the episode on Twilight Zone called "Where is Everybody."
Night is lonely in its all-circling darkness, and darkness slows time down. I mean, if I didn't have to sleep to stay alive, I'd for sure save my cleaning and working for night because the hours in the PM last forever.
You know what kind of things you do when you're up at night? You just think, like how you have a new awe for Vanna White and how she can walk while spinning letters with all that top head heaviness with a head that makes up half her body. You look up words like *forever.* Your interest is piqued and then you want to know more than just language of origin and synonyms. Parts of speech are interesting, for about two seconds, but then you're ready for something substantial to fill the time between 3:04 AM and whenever someone in your house wakes up for you to talk to.
Forever. noun. Define forever.
Without ever ending. Eternally. To last forever. Incessant. An extremely long time.
It seems like a very long time that we have been waiting to go to sleep.
This night seems like it is going to be without end.
Perhaps this night may be eternal.
These hours feel as if they could last forever.
I have a newfound empathy for my insomniac friends who have traveled these nights of forever before.
When people can't sleep, they can't sleep. Let's believe them and have the appropriate sympathy. This means keeping comments about how they look like they haven't had a decent night's sleep in like... um, I don't know, FOREVER, to ourselves. (talking to you, Miss Chirpy Grocery Store Cashier)
"British comedian David Baddiel asks why, when people hear he’s an insomniac, they say, “Really? ‘Cos I fall asleep the second my head hits the pillow.” He adds, “When I see someone in a wheelchair, I don’t say, “Really? ‘Cos I can do this…” and he hops around the stage on one leg. …" NYTimes, Tara Parker-Pope "The Wretched Life of The Insomniac"
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