Sleep is so unebbingly cruel. It attacks you when you can’t have it: during a long drive or an important meeting. It eludes you when you want it most: during the middle of the day or at the end of a long one. And you have to cut its damn head off when you just want to let it sing: first thing in the morning.
I have tried for years to convince myself that I can be a morning person. When fueled by the fear of high school, I think I must have been. But now, when all I ever want to do is sleep, I wake up in the morning looking for a shot gun and a coffee maker.
My dad was always the kind of guy who could jump right out of bed. He’d run around the house doing inane things like folding laundry and watching the news while we all peacefully slept. To this day, this boggles my mind (I take about a week to complete a full load of laundry from wash to put away). Then after an hour, and with all the fervor of a dog with a leash dangled above its head, he would come to wake us all up. This happened primarily on weekends, when my average roll-out time was about noon-thirty. He’d blast the radio and run into my room and jump on my bed. For Christmas one year, he and my step-mom gave me a Dean Martin giant singing head electric (scary) doll thing, and to this day I am convinced it was gifted solely as a torture device.
“EVERYBODY LOVES SOMEBODY SOMETIIIIMES… EVERYBODY FALLS IN LOVE SOMEHOWWW…” that stupid head would sing. My dad would always yell along with it, but he was never one for lyrics, so he was always just a few beats off with some punctuated, awkward breath-laughs in the middle where he tried to figure out what came next. Looking back, it’s surprising that he never really got it down, after countless weddings, dinners and an endless barrage of mornings where this song played a starring role.
My usual tactic was to pretend that somehow him yelling in my face didn’t wake me up. And I have to say, I got pretty good at that. I can hold a straight pretend sleeping face for a really long time. Try me.
When he refused to falter, (this is around the time when the jumping on the bed part happened) I would pull the covers over my like Saran Wrap on leftovers and slide as far down the mattress as I could. This of course would invoke the Law of Undercover Hotness. It states that every human has a critical level at which the temperature of the trapped expulsion of warm CO2 from his or her own mouth becomes so hot and uncomfortable that it forces the individual to flee from his or her undercover haven for the coolness of real air.
And I’m fairly certain my dad had a real grip on this. I didn’t know it at the time, but I think he was smoking me out intentionally. (Note to self: remember crazy sleep mind games for future reference with potentially equally snotty nonexistent kids.)
So I’d trudge to the bathroom and throw myself in the shower, much like I do every day now. I take a few minutes to stare at myself in the mirror, pick shit off my face, and wonder why in the hell I’ve been forced to greet another day at such an ungodly hour. Shouldn’t there be LAWS against this? It’s like child labor. As a millennial, a child of the Internet and a product of DVR, I’m fully content with believing that time may not exist/doesn’t matter, and I’m anxiously awaiting the day when the rest of the world catches up with this notion. That way, I can stay up as late as I want, wake up whenever I want, and listen to Dean Martin whenever I damn well please.
May the dream never die.