Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Per Chancing and Living out Those Dreams ...

"You know you're in love when you can't fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams."
Dr. Seuss

Nearly 4pm, on a Tuesday, meatloaf sammie, hot coffee and two drooling dogs by my side, he-man in the driveway with the shovel, home from his own full day of work and driving, laptop open, late in this day, I begin again.

I night-shift it, four nights a week now, which is nothing new, and has always been my favorite zone.  Night shifty behavior is my thing!!!  But it’s funny now, because I tend to get 6, today 7,  or sometimes even 8 hours of sleep after working my fandango off all night. 

“Back in the day …” when the kids were little, a night shift was followed sometimes by a hot shower (in place of sleep), lots of coffee, diet Pepsi, peanut butter & jelly toast, and maybe a nap when it was Ali’s nap time/the mid90s, but my young adult 20s-30s-wayyyyyyyyyyy into my 40s body and brain have always found the sleep around the edges. 

Maybe it’s something you grab hold of, like helium, when you have kids, that ability to stay afloat, on little sleep, laughing on the crazy side just some of the time, really not scaring anyone, while on the always (IN ALL WAYS), you are spot on where everyone needs you, and you feel so very real even though your Velveteen life has rubbed your eyes right off! 

Or, maybe it’s just your circadian rhythm and you better just dance to it, and get to it when your body and mind feel the getting is reallllllllllllly, realllllllllllly good.  Whatever it is, it’s like a drug, that lack of sleep.  Then,  later in life you realize, oh my gods and goddesses, on the flipside of this unslept drug is yet another drug, and it’s called SLEEP.  --A double-edged sword and a happy little pill all balled up in one, and the prescribed dosage of sleep versus the abstinence from same, it’s this amazing little tight-roped walk you do, backwards with your shirt on inside out!!!

The science of it, will they ever figure it out, Mr. Sandman and his crew of neurologists?

Ending a night, finding the new day starting on the immediate, after a rub of the eyes, and a quick orientation to time, place and where the hell is my person, well, it was a fantastical FANTASIA-astic, slap-spastic time! 

All those years will remain smeared in my memory banks as some of the best of life stores/stories ever!

I not only survived, back in those hair-raising and hardly ever bed-headed days, but I thrived, and I have 17 or 18 notebooks of scrawling to prove it!  Those odd-ass hours … before the kids were awake, or before they were due to be up, when there was no “real work” or house/handmaid work to be done, I would not sleep, perchance to live out some of my dreams.

So when I night-shifty behaviorally act out now, and then go to bed for seven hours, it feels like a loss of a sort.  I’m all, “What the hell did I miss, and was it worth it to have this tremendously puffy face, and why does a person look better (wired yes but better) when they go without sleep?” 

This morning, after the “real work,” I stayed up and chatted with Mark, crocheting (hopefully even rows), talking (probably rambling) and watching the news.  About an hour in, I felt my brain do that sideways sweep across my inner forehead.  It was that early warning bell, “Hey, if you just hold on for a second, your brain will bounce right back and there you have it, your second wind!”  I know this feeling, I STILL LOVE THIS FEELING.

I really, really wanted to stay up, long after Mark’s car pulled out of the driveway.  I wanted that cup of coffee, the bagel … the day to start.

But I went to bed instead, slept ‘til noon when someone had to pee (not me/a furry someone), and in my bleary-eyed glance out the door at the new snow, I wanted to “stay up” then too.  I wanted to steady and re-ready myself, but went back for 2-1/2 hours of more sleep, knowing it will make the nightshift easier on my brain tonight, the one that a person should take care of NOW THAT THEY’RE AGING, OMG!!!  And knowing that I’d be more capable of perhaps a little conversation, prior to work tonight, before Mark says, “Shhh, I just want to hear this …” (when AMERICAN IDOL IS ON … yes, we have both thrown each other under that fucked up touring music bus!!!)

Going back to bed, though, I felt I was missing the day, including the emails of what was coming next (which will—you will find—wait!).  I had stuff on the DVR, music I wanted to hear, Etsy listings to work on, three packages to get to the PO, cookies to bake, a pantry to clean, laundry to do, YARN, dogs, etc. 

I was missing the snowy day in daylight, and therein will always be a little lost feeling.  However, I’ve also learned in the last almost two years, that if you actually stay in bed for a lot, a verily lot of prescribed hours, holy manhole cover, the dreams!!!!! 

These dreams, they have been A-MAZING this last two years, and even the tiny one I had before waking the second time today … I dreamt Mark was standing there with a triangular cut of a sandwich, with one bite out of it.  I could see cheese, ham and turkey and mayo (which is weird because MARK HATES MAYO), and then he thrust the sandwich at me and said, “Here, it’s ham and turkey,” and then I woke up, FOR REALS, opened my eyes, and he was standing there, home from his workday, and the dogs were there, and they were licking my face, and it was a BRAND NEW DAY AGAIN.

See what I mean, this sleep shit is fantastic!!

I’m worried about the dogs, however.  When Mark is home-base, which he is this week, the dogs sleep both at night, and then of course they sleep with me during the day, and they take nine or ten naps in-between!  If I’m night shifty and “home alone” the dogs are on my schedule, and while they nap, their awake and play and wrestle and wanna-be-outside-right-now!!!! cycle is based on my movements, or stumbling.

I find it ASTOUNDING that a dog can sleep for 55 hours in one day!!!  I feel like that’s what’s been going on since Friday.   It’s an Olympic event for them.  They are stellar at, sweet and cute and have that “oh, I’ve only just dropped off for a cat nap” look about them, when in reality they’ve been in a coma for HOURS!!!!!!  Or, they will look, up heavy sigh and LITERALLY roll over, backs to us and GO.BACK.TO.SLEEP!!! like, HOW DARE WE?!

And how daring I … really, how daring I … and loving it … all of it … including the real life-ass SLEEP!!!!
"I love sleep. My life has the tendency to fall apart when I'm awake, you know?"
Ernest Hemingway   ... mayhaps in another installment, after another 8 hours of "real" sleep, I'll talk about that "other kind of sleep," the kind I love to hate, the kind I "use and abuse" when my brain is trapped between a rock and a bipolar/brain-damaged state, where there are dreams yes, but ... well, another time on that one ...

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