I’m Only Sleeping

I’m pretty sure I have jet lag every morning of my life.

I go to bed at night trying to tattoo into my mind the excitement I want to feel when my alarm goes off. In the morning, just a little too early, the cell phone song cuts through a thick fog of dreams, disturbing and addictive dreams. Whatever I thought the night before no longer ever existed. Coming up out of the water of sleep, my eyes sting and I suck in handfuls of air trying to find my phone in the dark. I sit up after turning the noise off and I take breaths that come from somewhere deep, like my body is the earth and some hidden cavern holds life, miles and miles from the surface.

Sometimes I check the media on my phone, little slices of affirmation or conflict that I feel dully, but feel more than understand. If I have enough wisdom, I refrain from looking at my phone because I know that all of those panting dogs will wait.

I blink, blink, close my eyes reminding them what it’s like to be awake. “Be awake!” I try to shout to my insides because they weigh so much more than usual…

And of course I try to calculate if I can reset my alarm and go back to sleep for a little longer. The trick I have played on myself, though is that if I don’t think through this the night before, I will not have the brain function to figure it out at 6:30 in the morning. Naturally, I was so optimistic about my future before falling asleep that I didn’t do this. And so I push myself out of bed because I have no idea how to rearrange the morning.

The shower is a dramatic affair, involving a depressed zombie, standing under the pounding water and begging it to sympathize with the tragedy of waking life. “YOU UNDERSTAND ME!” the zombie shouts in her idiotic mind and something about this imagined conversation gives Her Lowness a little more courage. Courage enough, at least, to put an end to the cleaning step and move to the drying and beautifying steps.

I’m grateful to my evening self if I find clothes waiting for me in a pile on the counter. If there are no clothes, I give meaningful scowls to the Previous Day Peggy, “You know what you’ve done,” I think to her.

If all goes well, and it usually does, by the time I’m dressed and dolled, I’m conscious enough to put together some coffee and a little breakfast. Then I’m rewarded by getting to sit back down on my made bed to gather my thoughts and lay them before the God of the universe.  I’m always so relieved to have accomplished so much with so few available resources.

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