October 18, 1998
Narcolepsy


nar*co*lep*sy
(noun), plural -sies

[International Scientific Vocabulary, from Greek narke]

First appeared 1880

: a condition characterized by brief attacks of deep sleep

-- nar*co*lep*tic (adjective)


I woke up this morning feeling  -- as Grandma would have put it, in her inimitably delicate way --  full of pee and cornstarch.

I was coming off an AMAZING ten hours of mostly-dreamless sleep, for one thing. It was a gorgeous autumn morning, for another: the sun was just coming up over the horizon. I opened the curtains, and the birds were already sitting there in the treetops, waiting for me. ("Where the hellya BEEN?") There was an unopened can of Folgers sitting on the kitchen counter, and all the ingredients for my World Famous *Breakfast Scramble* in the fridge.

It was Sunday, forcryingoutloud. One long lovely day, stretching out in front of me ... just begging to be lived.

Who wouldn't feel good? Who wouldn't feel damned glad to be alive? Who wouldn't feel like cranking up the stereo and firing up the Mr. Coffee and kicking some serious housecleaning ass??

Who wouldn't, halfway into their third cup of Folgers (and two-thirds of the way into concocting her World Famous *Breakfast Scramble*) be suddenly overcome by a wave of exhaustion so profound  --  so debilitating  --  that they'd have to turn off the stove and shove the pan of two-thirds-cooked World Famous *Breakfast Scramble* into the fridge and go crawl back into their rumpled little bed and sleep some more?

For TWO HOURS?

(I had that weird dream again ... the dream where one of The Tots has been magically changed back into an infant. This time it was Son #Only, and he was wearing the little blue baseball pajamas his grandmother made for him in 1987.  I was holding him on my lap and smelling his hair  --  it smelled like Johnson's & Johnson's and bacon  --  and thinking "This time I'm not going to fuck things up." And then I woke up.)

The second time I started my Sunday morning, I felt a little less of that pee and cornstarch in my veins. The Folgers had worn off by then.  My kitchen was a shambles from my aborted earlier attempt at World Famous *Breakfast Scramble.* The birds weren't nearly as excited to see me this time. ("Yo! Worms are GONE, man.")  But I managed to drag my confused fuzzy selves into the shower and commune with my new bar of soap, which briefly brought me back to life, and I made some Fast Lane Tea, and I sat down in front of the computer and got a little writing done. I enjoyed a couple of fun online conversations, and talked to a friend on the phone. I watered my plants and gathered up six pairs of knotted pantyhose for laundering and made my bed again.

At one point I wandered into the kitchen and pulled the pan of World Famous *Breakfast Scramble* from the fridge. The potatoes were still hard as rocks, and the bacon was looking a little more  ... umm  ...  gelatinous than I am normally comfy with.  But I fired up the stove and started reheating everything anyway, hoping that the cooking smells would help me wake up. I had so much I wanted to do with this day. I couldn't afford to waste a minute of it.

Forty-five minutes later I was back in bed ... sound asleep again, dreaming that I was shoplifting a brown suede coat from the Goodwill store on McLoughlin Avenue.

Sigh.

What exactly is the deal here, folks? Aren't I supposed to be feeling better, now that I'm not drinking? More energetic? Healthier? Happier? More pulled-together in all the ways that count? Capable, at least, of getting a few simple things knocked off the Sunday "To Do" List, without having to stop and take a fucking NAP every two hours??

I totally do not *get* this.  At all.

It was past lunchtime by this point, and I was famished. So I dragged the pan of World Famous *Breakfast Scramble* out of the fridge for the third time, slammed the pan onto the stove and fired up the back burner. I figured that while it finished cooking, I would get dressed and gather up the dirty towels for laundering and see how many laundry quarters I had floating around in the bottom of my purse. I probably was not going to have the energy to do a major apartment cleaning today ... but I could at least get my laundry done.

I pulled on a pair of Levi's and my Benchmade Knife Company T-shirt, and I sat down on the end of my bed to put on my socks ...

... and the next thing I knew, I was snuggled upside-down under the top blanket, fully dressed, drooling into my freshly-shampooed hair. I said, "Oh whut the hell" ... and allowed myself to go under.

Until I smelled the burning plastic.

Followed by the sound of the smoke alarm going off.

Followed by me frantically running into my kitchen, fighting my way through billowing clouds of smoke, just in time to see my plastic spatula melting into the rear burner of the stove whilst the pan of uncooked gelatinous World Famous *Breakfast Scramble* sat demurely on the (ice cold) FRONT burner of the stove.

Birds: "Betcha wish ya'd hadda WORM, huh?"

Oregon City Fire Department: "And you call yourself a former 'Miss Fire Prevention'!"

I pretty much gave up after that. I spent my Sunday alternating between rounds of "You Don't Know Jack" and fitful drooling naps. My apartment still looks like someone picked it up and shook it ... sort of like a dysfunctional Tree House snow globe. I have absolutely no clean towels. And dinner tonight, of course, is World Famous *Breakfast Scramble.*

Oh well. Maybe next Sunday.



Excerpts from a life-affirming e-mail from my mom:

"This is just a quick note to let you know that I now have email at home again ...

I've been reading your journal as regularly as my morning paper and want you to know that I'm very proud of the way you're fighting your dragons. We may not be able to kill them but at least we can keep them cornered in their caves while we go on with our lives.  Your wonderfully poetic, beautiful descriptions of the weather and your feelings are such indisputable proof that you don't need the cheap chab to be a creative and talented writer!

I love you!

Mom



Fun e-mail from Feef ...


Subj: Narcs
Date: 98-10-18 23:48:06 EDT
From: FifiOToole
To: SecraTerri

Hey.

So there IS rest for the wicked.

Today I arose at 11:15 a.m. I wouldn't have, but Newbo's dogs were whining plaintively about having to pee and he was on the other side of the bed, snoring obliviously. So I dragged my ass out of bed and took them out, receiving wags and yips of joy and wet sloppy kisses in return. Not to mention a couple big clumps of shedded blonde dog hair clinging to my black Bob Dylan tee shirt.

Then I went back to bed.

I got up an hour later and found a note from Newbo saying he was off to fix his mother's television and would be back later, so I skimmed selectively through the Sunday Curious Journal for about 90 minutes and that was so exhausting that I went back to bed AGAIN, knowing there was absolutely NO reason to be this tired, and wondering if I'd dreamed about a mosquito colony and mysteriously contracted sleeping sickness during the night.

I did not get up again until 5 p.m. and when I did, my muscular system had the consistency of watery jello and my brain felt like yesterday's oatmeal. "The whole day, shot to hell," I muttered as I confronted the mirror and found a giant and rather blurry three-toed sloth staring back at me.

I knew I hadda come into the office, but managed to put it off until about 8 p.m. -- it took that long to work up the energy to go out and start my car.

Then I sat here at my desk and felt lethargic as hell for a couple hours.

Then I went to the geocities and found your Sunday journal entry and reveled in the fact that there's someone else in the world who could not seem to get her ass moving today.

Thank you. I feel MUCH better now. Evidently lethargy loves company.

xo,

-Feef




Subj: Re: Narcs
Date: 10/18/98
To: FifiOToole
From: SecraTerri

In a message dated 98-10-18 23:48:06 EDT, you write: >>>  Evidently lethargy loves company.  <<<

Lethargy ADORES company, actually. And I am thrilled to pieces that you're still reading me. Even when it's something as mind-numbingly-dull as today's *masterpiece.*

Loveyou.





Subj: Re re: Narcs
Date: 98-10-19 05:28:51 EDT
From: FifiOToole
To: SecraTerri

In a message dated 10/18/98 11:51:40 PM, you wrote:>>>  Lethargy ADORES company, actually. And I am thrilled to pieces that you're still reading me. Even when it's something as mind-numbingly-dull as today's *masterpiece.*

Oh shut up, you big queer! Your writing has NEVER been mind-numbingly dull and you know it!

Love you too!



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