It is 8.25pm. As in 5 minutes to my bed time. That’s right, I clock out with the chicken. I don’t hear anyone judging when I rise at those ungodly hours – with the chicken – so I don’t expect any judgement on this side of the coin either. Besides, I do stay up late every blue moon. Don’t ask me how frequent those are – I haven’t a clue. People say stuff like this all the time, so I say it too!
It’s like when I buy water melon and hit it with my open palm – I have no idea what a good melon is supposed to sound like, but people around me are doing it, so I do it. Far be it for me to appear unsophisticated in this complicated arena! Life is hard enough without the pitiful eyes of water melon experts boring into my back as I saunter off with my fruit. But then I get home, split the bitch open and find white staring back at me.
Yeah. True story.
But here’s the one contest I could win right now – yawning. I yawn. And then I yawn some more. (I hear yawning is so contagious that even reading about it could make someone yawn.)
People are always telling me what a strong person I am. I’ve heard it so many times, it’s beginning to sound like one of those things that people just say for the heck of it. Like when you’re introduced to someone you really couldn’t care less about knowing, and the words just tumble out of your mouth;
“Pleased to meet you.” Really?
“You are strong Martha.” Yeah, whatever.
I know I’m strong. I can handle stuff. I have handled stuff. (Universe, please don’t take this as an invitation to lug more obstacles down my path…I’m just saying). But as far as sleep deprivation goes, I’m as jelly as they come. Sleep is my nemesis. I never met an arch rival I love this much!
The things it has cost me. The things it has stolen, while I cozied in its embrace. The things I have gladly given up because “Tomorrow is another day.”
The Aces I’d have scored in high school, if only I’d had the tenacity to study in the wee hours! Not me though. Not for lack of trying. I woke up a couple of times. Even dipped my warm feet in freezing water, just so I could stay awake and study. Flipped a few pages. Looked around at all the serious students hacking away. Flipped a few more pages. Yawned. Yawned some more.
Then the little devil on my shoulder would quip;
“How do you even know there’ll be a question from the section you are reading?”
“Is this really worth your sleep?”
Errrm, Little Angel? Any time you want to speak up with a counter argument, I’m all ears!
“It’s better to fail the exam knowing you got your sleep, than to fail the exam, knowing you lost your sleep!”
That’s it! I’m going back to bed!
It was the same, every single time. I’d quietly crawl back to bed. At least I had the presence of mind to feel shame. But sleep always knew how to take care of that. As soon as my head hit the pillow, I’d beam to a place where shame wasn’t even a painting on the wall. A place I’m yearning to go right this instant. Not just me, though. There’s a crowd in my head chanting
“Sleep, sleep, sleep!”
The chants are getting louder. More fervent. I can’t ignore them much longer. This is after all a world where majority rules. But as heavy as my eyelids get, I know I must face up to my nemesis. Push back just a little bit. Rant a while about sleep deprivation, and pray to God, that this article comes off half coherent.
But the little devil quips;
“Tomorrow is a day too.”
And the little Angel stamps her foot. She does have a voice, after all;
“Yes. Tomorrow is a day too. So sleep tomorrow!”
Little devil coughs noisily but says nothing.
“Is the sleep really worth disappointing yourself?”
Not even a yawn from little devil!
“It is better to yawn from sleep deprivation, than to yawn from self deprivation.”
Little devil downs his fork and goes to sleep. He knows when he’s beat.
My nemesis smiles condescendingly at my little victory dance. She knows, it is only a matter of time before I crawl eagerly to her. For now, though, the crowd chants;
“You win! You win!”
I open my mouth to laugh, and a yawn bursts into throttle.
I too know, when I’m beat.