Thursday, June 11, 2009

Sleep Experiment

Nope, this isn't really a post. At least, that's what I keep telling myself.

I just happened to remain in the office for about fifteen hours today — almost double the recommended daily allowance — because a critical web site went down at about five in the afternoon and we had to spend a good part of the evening trying to straighten it out.

And that leaves me tired. Dog tired, in fact.

I think that I have only a few minutes left before I doze off. To be honest, I'm only tapping away at the keyboard because I'm curious to see how long I can last before the dowsiness overwhelms me and I'm off to crawl under the blankets. Or even better, I can drop off with my face on the keyboard and go to work the next morning with QWERTY printed across my forehead.

My eyelids are drooping a bit. I imagine that I'll finally start nodding off when I begin hallucinating, and I'm surprised that I know exactly what it's like. Strangely enough, there's no single bit where your vision blurs — you just start seeing things right off the bat. After a while, it becomes easier to tell which items in your line of sight are real, and which ones are not... or at least, that's what the purple giraffe is telling me right now.

And then there's the alternating urge to speak both French and Latin, in that sequence. And then a period of awkward silence as I wonder why I would invest my time in such an effort when I could be speaking Swahili instead.

That mattress would be good right about now.

I sometimes worry about my teeth. I haven't been grinding them in my sleep for a while now, but I still worry. I haven't had any nightmares in a while, but suffice to say that the idea of waking up with nothing but nerves and gums ranks foremost among them.

Now I begin asking myself nonsensical questions, which is a clear indication that I'm in the home stretch. Are bananas funny, for example? Will magpies steal shiny items that aren't necessarily metal or bits of glass? What pieces of technology finally killed the tape recorder, and why does the LP yet survive? How many pieces of taffy does it take to change a bottle of Spanish vodka?

And now I begin swaying from side to side — literally — and backtracking throughout this post to edit the numerous spelling errors that I'm starting to make. Even when I'm sleepy, I'm an obsessive-compulsive proofreader.

And now I slowly nod off. The very air feels heavier now. The silence feels oppressive, enough to make me want to escape into the noise in my mind. There was a time when I would be using this time to write a thousand straight words in the span of a single hour, but that time is fairly distant. I've gotten old.

Soon it shall be a question of sleeping at eight in the evening and getting up at one in the afternoon. Exist but don't exist. Slumber bluff, they call it — to pull a fast one on the caterpillar and the Sandman. Fred Flintstone would be proud of the bowling ball.

The Enter button becomes the focal point for my existence, and I have this desire to begin listing down random dates off the top of my head. The kangaroo reaches the goal post, and wondrs aloud as to why I insist on counting sheep. They have a poker table set up in the next meadow, and the one on front is offering me two-to-one odds on a full house. In the corner, an octopus plays the saxophone.

Truth is a question of black and white, but Bogart calls them all shades of gray. Listen to me now, Humphrey... you should never have switched from scotch to martinis. No wonder the moon smiles; we are all its lunatics.

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