Sleeping disorders are not for the timid. Somehow I managed to forget that over the past two and a half years. Back off the meds the realization hits hard that for two and a half years I had a bit of a reprise from the worst. Eh, more or less, of course, depending on how I want to view the glass.
Enter day — I forget — of the customs drama. At this point I have passed the stage of withdrawal and am now just trying to cope with not being able to sleep until the sun rises. For a flashing moment I pondered whether this is sustained jet lag hitting me again after two months, but then I remembered — no, you fool. Since adolescence you have only come out at night. Only the medication made it possible to actually be awake and functioning before three in the afternoon.
Wow. Those were some blessed and wasted two and a half years, mate. A serious loss. Only now am I truly appreciating just how much better it is with the pills dissolving into my system on a nightly basis. True, they don\’t bring me up to the level I would like — I\’ll never be able to be one of those high energy, long maintaining people that I so admire — but at least I can function. Not like before. Falling asleep while standing in the grocery store is not productive, nor is it safe. Let the city of Brisbane feel eternally grateful because I do not have a car and am not out falling asleep at the wheel.
Oh, the memories of a life without sleep. They are far easier to dismiss when you can actually put your head on the pillow and snooze within a half an hour. No, when you lie in bed attempting to hypnotize yourself, count sheep, or translate the Magna Carta into binary, what fills your brain, hour after hour, is instead all the thoughts and memories you brushed aside during those years where you could, in fact, sleep. There\’s nothing like the past to bug you when all you want to do is let go of the present and drift off to la-la land.
Tonight\’s recurring theme focuses on a man I boinked in the summer of 2003. That was a good summer — the first summer of real sleep in almost ten years. It was also the summer of much boinking and the shenanegans of a single girl freshly returned to the playing field. (No, that is not wistfulness you detect in my dialogue — no, never!) Oh, the stories that could be told from that summer! But for the moment, I\’m going to keep to the one that has been playing over and over in my head for the past few hours.
It\’s my second in-person encounter with the hot southern gentleman that I met one rainy night the week prior. He has dirty blonde hair, but as it is greying I make an exception to my \”no blondes\” rule. I like \’em hot and I like \’em old. I also prefer them to be assholes, but that\’s another side of the story for another time.
The man and I have met up with two of my DC friends toward the end of one of the traditional summer punk in the park nights. Directly following the show we head across the street for Jew food and talk. A little of this, a little of that, and then the conversation leads to this:
\”Doesn\’t it just suck when your chosen profession bites you on the ass?\”
\”Well at least I\’ve chosen one.\”
Without missing a beat the conversation continues, three of us laughing like hyenas and the fourth member struggling to stay on top of the ball. After my two friends depart for some tomfoolery of their own, my new toy and I head back across the street to the park. We managed to stay on that little back strip of 40th Street NW, talking and flirting and seducing each other for about three hours. During that time, or perhaps once we were in bed later that night — the exact timing of the follow up conversation is now unclear to me — the rest of the conversation came out:
\”I can\’t keep up with your friends.\”
\”Earlier tonight when you and Eran were ripping each other new ones — I can\’t keep up with that.\”
\”What do you mean? Eran and I weren\’t fighting.\”
\”No? Then what was that all about with the digs about choosing a job?\”
\”Oh, that. Well… that\’s just the way we all communicate with each other, I guess.\”
\”It\’s brutal. All that acerbic wit, insulting humor and catty banter… I just can\’t do that. It seems like a waste of time. It\’s brutal. You can\’t say that it doesn\’t bother you in some fashion, that all those little jibes don\’t hurt.\”
I\’d like to say I responded with something akin to \”shut up and fuck me again, you fool,\” but I didn\’t. Far from it. Like any player worth their weight in dick, my southern gentleman knew how to hit on the right chords. He didn\’t just know all the grooves — he also knew how to retune my strings after they had been stretched. He made me feel better about all the various issues at hand, at least for that night.
* * *
At this point I have forgotten as to whether I was going to focus on the eroticizing of my disability that ensued, the hot nature of the man and his naughty little secret, or a breakdown of the psychology behind why so many of my friends and I act like assholes to each other on a consistent basis. I got wrapped up in a conversation about sexism in Australia — my apologies — and now it is nearly three in the morning and I am feeling like I might be able to get to sleep in the next two hours if I start now. So take a stand and vote: if I can be arsed to come back to this subject latter, which path should I continue on?