When I first met and fell in love with Andy in the fall of 1992, I was a freshman in college living 100 miles away from him and he was unemployed, living with his cousin, one of my best friends, who worked as the overnight jock at the only rock radio station in town.
They were day sleepers. Clearly.
I, on the other hand, was a solid early to bed, early to riser. Most of my classes started at 8 a.m. My school day done no later than 2 in the afternoon. Beyond that, I'd always enjoyed the early mornings...the quiet, the peace I felt while I savored the loneliness of dawn.
Those first few months of college though, I learned to appreciate the night. I loved feeling blanketed by the darkness, enveloped in the tender moments of first love, while drinking gallons of Mountain Dew and swallowing Jet Alert caffeine pills to stay awake so I could keep up with Andy and his shenanigans.
A typical weekend would start at 6:30 a.m. Friday morning. Class, a break, another class. I'd be out of school by noon and, my car already packed for the weekend, would leave straight from campus to head due north toward the Colorado/Wyoming border...toward the ever blowing wind and sleep-deprived love...pulling up in front of The Book and Record Exchange above which they lived just in time for coffee with my boys. There would be no sleep for me that night. There were conversations and arguments, card games and graffiti, kisses and well...you know...to be had. As the sky would lighten, we'd sit curled up in front of the southeast facing windows to watch the pink of the sunrise. He'd sing me our song. He'd read me a story. I would kiss him goodnight and take my leave to see my mom for a few hours, to nap for a couple of hours, before rising mid-afternoon to see him once again.
I would arrive back in Denver mid-afternoon on Sunday exhausted and content to resume my early to bed routine. So it goes. So it goes.
With Andy, with N8, with Goliath...with Noodle.
I've always felt like an early riser in a sea of Day Sleepers.
You see, I've never been romantically involved with anyone who wasn't a night owl and I've often suspected our opposite sleep habits played a hand in many a break up. It's hard to connect with someone who sleeps while you're awake and vice versa.
And then, a couple of years ago, something changed. Maybe it's age. Maybe it's the cumulative impact of the late nights dabbling in the club culture to which many of my friends subscribe. I don't know. All I know is that my sleep needs have shifted more toward day sleeping much the same way my body's center of gravity has shifted so that I'm always just a tad bit off balance.
Regardless of the reason, recently I asked to modify my work schedule so that I was no longer reporting to work at 6:30 a.m. I realized much of my anxiety in the morning stemmed from knowing I hadn't slept enough as a 9 o'clock bedtime didn't feel realistic without hours of tossing and turning. So now I report at 8:30. It's nice. I like it better.
I took yesterday off as a planned personal day because I had shit to get done. And then, Thursday night, because I wasn't working the next day, shenanigans were afoot. I, without effort, stayed awake until 4:30 a.m. and only went to bed then because I had to do a very few things late in the day.
Last night then, I was yawning my fool head off around midnight and considered heading toward bed when even more shenanigans presented themselves via a text from my upstairs neighbor. She and I parted ways 'round 2:30. I didn't go to bed though. By then, I was wide awake and my fingers itched to write. So write I did. I wrote several pages on a project I'd wanted to start. And then I may or may not have instigated a middle-of-the-night e-mail conversation with Noodle (shoosh you...no, really, I'm serious. Shoosh!).
The next thing I knew, the sun was coming up and I hadn't yet slept.
So I sang myself our song.
And I read myself a story.
And then I kissed myself goodnight.
And went to sleep.
All the while knowing, as much as I want to...
I can't be a day sleeper. Not right now. There are no allowances for a day sleeper in my current employment situation.
So, as much as I don't want to on a Saturday night when Alameda is in town and performing at the Hi Dive, as much as I don't want to when friends are throwing a St. Patrick's Day party, I forced myself to get out of bed at noon and didn't allow myself a nap or evening coffee. I'm in my pajamas and will make myself go to bed at 11.
I hate it.
Wanna rock and roll all night.
And sleep the day away.
But I'm a grown up. Uh...mostly. Unless there are shenanigans afoot.
Written (primarily) for the GBE 2 prompt "Shenanigans" but also because it's on my mind as Alameda gets ready to take the stage and I'm at home pouting.