Sunday, May 18, 2008

Five Days And Counting: What It's Like To Not Sleep...

My girl out in LA calls me at 11:30 (my time) sometimes and is already yawning, talking about, "Girl WHY are you still awake?!" To which I respond, "GURL why are YOU so sleepy??"

It's been the running gag for a while now- Raquel, like the City, never sleeps. You can see it in my raccoon eyes.

As a kid, I didn't have a bedtime. Mami said I could stay up til whenever, just to be sure I got to school on time everyday. I suppose that's where my bad habits started.

I've tried many tricks to get myself to sleep, even forced myself into bed at a certain hour but alas, The Voices always have their own agenda. And when they're up there chattin' it up, talking about me n shit, how am I supposed to get to sleep?

My body is tired, no doubt. But The Voices never get tired; they are always awake, always working, thinking out loud, throwing raves, tap-dancing, moving furniture and singing opera. These are the things that keep me up. Until about a month or two into a "no sleep" cycle when I crash for a day or make myself so physically ill and am FORCED to sleep.

Even if I fall asleep, I never stay asleep. A bit ago I tried just putting my ass in bed by 11 with some chamomile tea and it would work... until The Voices decided that, what they needed to do at 3AM, was play a rip-roaring game of Spades. So like clockwork, I was up at three.

Way back when, I used alcohol. Yes, you read correctly, alcohol. It was back in my Riverdale days, we'd just come back from an awesome trip to Montauk (remember, ladies? the time Jessica and Mirna came out, too?) and I had all this leftover liquor... when C would go to sleep and the babies were tucked in I'd drink until everything got blurry, and then go to sleep. Nobody knew, so I suppose, as Usher would say, "...this is my confession..." But I was never cut out for alcoholism; it's just not for me, so it only lasted about a month or two. Got some good sleep, though!

I know a couple things that helped make me tired as hell- like working out in the early AM and, well, um, "activities" before bed- were usually good to get me to sleep but again, I never stayed asleep.

I always get the "Girl, go to bed already!" advice from people, but I just can't. Let me see if I can illustrate it for you. Picture it: Sicily, 1948... nah, just playing! HA! Sorry... I couldn't resist it...

But seriously, imagine- you've had a full day of shit to do at work and at home, and all around the neighborhood you sense it's bedtime, but to you, it would be the perfect time to mop the floor or shred all that junk mail from The League of Women Voters or PETA, or it'd be the perfect time to catch up on last week's TV shows that you didn't get to watch. Or *damn* you need to hurry up and watch the movie you rented from Netflix in order to get your next DVD and get your money's worth.

Or you know what? Your file cabinet is stuffed to the gills with shit you don't even need... it's real quiet now- perfect for going through files without kids all up in your face. And don't forget that pile of clothes that needs to be sewn, or *GODDAMMIT* don't forget to send out your student loan payment!!! And did you remember to pay National Grid? It would really, really suck to have the gas cut off because you can't get on schedule. OOH- that's what you need to do- put your calendar in order! then you won't forget that *SHIT* you still owe that freelance assignment, don't you? You forgot, didn't you? Well pause the movie and get on that!!

Next thing you know it's 3:30 in the morning, you haven't really done anything, except now the floor is wet, you have papers and files strewn about, and you wasted 30 minutes trying to find the cutest and most functional calender template from, and you haven't been to bed yet and it's all TOO MUCH to deal with right then so now you're hella tired! So you take the hottest shower possible and drink some tea and force yourself to sleep, because it will soon be time to get up again.

See there? See how easy it is to not sleep? To me, night time has always meant: "DO SOMETHING"... problem is, daytime means the same thing!

And don't even get me started on how much extra food I'm consuming by being up so late...

*smooches...thinking "I'll sleep when I'm dead" was written by me in some sleep-deprived trance in another life*
now you can sort of get an idea of what brand of "crazy" you're dealing with... in case you didn't already know... but I hear it's the crazies that make the best authors...

I'm gonna be RICH!!!