October 6, 1999
Sleepwalking
 

 
 
I'm walking in my sleep today.  

I am also typing technical agendas in my sleep, opening mail in my sleep, and transcribing thrilling eleven-minute voicemail messages all about HYDROGEOLOGY in my sleep (which may, of course, be a blessing in disguise) ...

...  all of this in spite of the fact that I've been caffeinating myself -- gently yet steadily, like a labor room pitocin drip -- since the moment I rolled out of bed this morning.

(Or maybe I'm sleepy because of the caffeine. I don't know. I've read that too much caffeine can actually make you feel tireder. This is a distinct possibility, I guess ... as evidenced by my groggy use of a non-word like "tireder.")

I'm getting plenty of sleep these days: I average eight hours a night, more or less. (More on those "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" nights, less on any night that involves body lotion and/or Don Johnson.)  For the first time in my adult life, in fact, I'm sleeping in actual, delicious, measurable chunks. Motherhood pretty much wipes out your ability to sleep straight through the night. So does drinking a BOX of WINE every night. For a while, even after I'd stopped drinking, I worried that the damage might be permanent, and that I was going to spend the rest of my life grabbing sleep in twitchy, twenty-minute doses. But apparently I'm being given a second chance at normal sleep. I drop off about halfway through Ally McBeal, and I'm out solid until Rhonda Bentley is delivering that first local weather report at 6 a.m. ("Coastal fog, clearing inland.")

And I wake up feeling great most mornings ... especially when I've had the presence of mind, the night before, to load up the Krups with carefully-measured [snort], fresh-ground Millstone, so all I've got to do in the morning is wander out to the kitchen and plug it in and wait for coffee to *happen.*

(Which it does, unless of course I've forgotten to also load up the Krups with carefully-measured WATER.)

Morning coffee

It's the middle of the afternoon when the coma usually *ensues* in earnest. Right now I'm experimenting with different afternoon "pick-me-ups" ... coffee, Red Bull, juice, coffee, Penguin Caffeinated Peppermints, fruit, coffee, a brisk walk around The Isolation Booth, more coffee ... and of course, my personal favorite: shutting my office door, laying my little head down on my desk and drooling into my jacket sleeves for eleven minutes ...

... and sometimes it works. Sometimes I catch a second wind and sail through the rest of the afternoon. Those are the days when I get actual work done.

totem pole coffee

And then there are days like today ... when all I really have the *oomph* to do is sit here with papers spread out all over my desktop and the phone blearily clamped against my head, pretending that I'm engaged in all of this EXTRA IMPORTANT *WORK* so no one will attempt to engage me in a real conversation ...

I seriously need to figure this middle-of-the-afternoon energy-depletion thing out. I'm willing to try anything.

As long as I don't ... you know ... have to give up caffeine.

And as long as I don't have to ride a BIKE.





David was awake when I came out of the bathroom this morning, aprés shower.

"I had a bizarre dream," he said.

I sat down on the edge of the bed and towel-dried my hair while he told me about it.

He dreamed that he and I were competing in a bicycle race through a long wooden tunnel. Every couple of minutes he had to stop and help me fix something that had broken on my bike, or to encourage me to "keep moving," or to prevent me from sabotaging the other bicyclists by putting NAILS in the road. 

"I was getting really frustrated," he said, shaking his head. "All I wanted was for us to finish the race."

Towards the end of the dream, he lost his shirt. I mean, he literally lost his shirt -- a T-shirt that one of his online friends gave him a few years ago. It fell off and landed on the road as he was riding, and although he wanted to go back and get it, *I* told him that we "didn't have time."

"And that's when I woke up," he said.

I, of course, immediately interpreted the dream thusly:

1. The "long wooden tunnel" was a metaphor for life, and the "race" a metaphor for David's desire for us to come out ahead.

2. By slowing him down with constant problems and complaints, I am holding him back, and this "frustrates" him.

3. Me sabotaging the other riders in the race was a reflection of the fact that I'm not a very nice person sometimes ... especially when it comes to horny illiterate message board posters, or surly inept receptionists who sit at the front desk and eat PRINGLES all day, or overly-solicitous waitpersons in restaurants who always want to ask you "How is everything?" the very instant you've just inserted 4.2 ounces of medium-rare top sirloin into your face ... and David, being the NICEST PERSON ON THE FACE OF THE PLANET, feels like he constantly has to keep an eye on me, just to make sure I don't inadvertently get somebody fired or arrested or HOSPITALIZED or anything.

5. Losing the shirt he got from his friend JOC was symbolic of our recent decision to cut back even further on our AOL "activities," and his unmanifested reluctance to completely give up the old cyber routine, and the fact that even though it was mostly HIS idea -- he's tired of The Message Boreds, and he wants to branch off and do other stuff for a while -- I know that he's feeling those same stirrings of cyber withdrawal that *I* felt, a few months back, and he's possibly having second thoughts, and I'm pulling him away from something that used to be the center of his existence and stuff.

6. In short: the dream meant that he considers me to be a big fat cranky pain in the butt who must constantly be monitored and "fixed" and helped along ... and that he's tired of it, and of me, and of our relationship in general ... and that I might as well start cruising the classifieds for a new place to live. 

Like the back seat of a '49 Studebaker, maybe.

By the time I'd finished relating this expert *dream analysis* to him, I was practically in tears. He shook his head in amazement ... and amusement. 

"You know," he said, "it could just mean that I want to get your adorable ass on a bicycle."

Oh.

OK.

I guess that interpretation works, too.

self-important blurb #1 will go HERE:  i would still love it if you check out the new issue of *tapestry* ... and then write a letter to the editors, telling 'em you want more articles about coffee and typewriters ....

self-important blurb #2 -- probably having something to do with the WEATHER:  apparently they're having weather in tictac, too. [and i'll be able to check it out for myself this weekend ... ]

special *howdy* to: my new pal paul, whose peacoat was tragically cut off at the knees

here's where i'll ask a *relevant* question:
what did YOU dream about last night?
if it was bicycles i don't wanna hear about it.

amazingly profound thought of the day: "I must amuse myself by being blindly optimistic or I might turn to drugs." ~ FifiOToole ~