My wife woke me up last night.
This is annoying, not only because it's about
the third time that this has happened, but also
because it means that A) I didn't get to sleep
until three hours later than I'd originally
intended; and B) I was going to bed early so I
could get up early and write. Feh. Didn't
Yesterday was, otherwise, a good day. We went
to Taiji class in the morning, ate lunch at a
new Thai food restaurant near our house, and
spent the afternoon with some friends at Irish
fest, cruising the vendors' booths and listening
to the music and (of course) drinking the beer.
We came home, had dinner, and watched
Serenity. I decided that I wasn't going to
get any writing done last night, so I started
making arrangements to go to bed. (We've both
been kind of sick for most of February, so
getting enough sleep isn't just an indulgence;
it's something of a medical necessity.) Brush
teeth, take allergy meds, change into sleeping
clothes, set the alarm. Then (error of errors) I
went and told my wife that I was going to sleep.
She had a toothbrush in her mouth while she
was typing, but she managed to communicate
(mostly by gesture) that she was coming to bed
too, and that she'd be there in about two
minutes. I nodded and said something along the
lines of, "Right. Ten o'clock, then." It was
about nine o'clock at the time; but BW* was
looking at a message board, and she tends to
lose track of time when she does that.
Light-hearted banter and threats of tickling
ensued, along with protestations of her sincere
desire to come to bed soon.
I finished setting up the bedroom. Owing to
our allergies and the need to drown out whatever
noise the cats might be making, we sleep with a
fan, an air purifier, and (recently) a vaporizer
all going at once. I left the door open and the
light on in the hallway, to make it easier for
my wife when she did finally come to bed.
Then I crawled under the covers, pulled a sleep
mask over my eyes, and started to drift off.
Part of the process of going to sleep (for
me, at least) involves a sort of auto-hypnotic
visualization stage. It's not quite like
dreaming, since it's usually more coherent.
Also, it tends to relate more directly to things
that I've been doing or thinking or reading
during the course of the day. While this is
going on, my body goes about the business of
shutting down: slowing my breathing, lowering my
temperature, and turning off the connections to
the body (so that when, for example, I dream of
running, my legs don't try to move too much).
So when BW came into the room and asked if
she could turn the overhead light back on so she
could set her alarm, I was right on the edge of
sleep. I managed to answer her (the light
wouldn't make much difference since I had the
sleep mask on) without snapping too far out of
my trance. The light was noticeable (it's not a
good quality sleep mask), but I could sleep
through it. So I kept my eyes closed and tried
to find that place where I was drifting off to
sleep again. My wife finished whatever she was
doing and climbed into bed... and then,
apparently still in light-hearted banter mode,
she made some comment about my stealing all the
covers and thus yanked me awake again.
I said, "Oh, for fuck's sake,"
and sat up. I twitched the covers back and
yanked them up so they'd cover her side of the
bed. Then I grabbed a sleeping bag off the
floor, pulled it over myself, and utterly failed
to go back to sleep. Apparently, if you catch me
right in that little window when I'm going
to sleep but haven't actually gotten there
yet, my body sends a little bolt of adrenaline
through my system (to reverse the effects of
whatever chemical processes are involved in
getting the flesh ready to sleep, I guess). So
not only am I awake again, but I've gotten just
close enough (to sleeping) to take the edge of
my tiredness. On top of that, I'm angry -
partly from the adrenaline, and partly from
knowing that I'm not going to be able to get to
sleep any time soon - which is not a restful
state of mind under the best of circumstances.
This is not the best of circumstances.
So instead of going to bed at nine o'clock
and waking up an hour earlier than usual to get
some writing done, I went to bed at midnight and
didn't get any writing done at all. Instead of
feeling bright and rested in the morning, I woke
up feeling slow and stupid and semiconscious.
Instead of waking up an hour early, I woke up
with about fifteen minutes to spare and left for
work without A) a shower, or B) my usual cup of
There ought to be some sort of light-hearted
note I could wrap this up on - it's practice for
the baby who's due in July, or somesuch - but I
can't seem to find one. There's just me, at
work, feeling grumpy... all day. Probably means
I'll cut Kung Fu short again tonight, which is
also irritating. And finishing up the next
chapter, which requires no more than half a
page, has been postponed indefinitely - for a
couple of days at least.
Would it be that hard to just climb into bed,
lie still, and go to sleep... without
*BW stands for Beautiful
Woman. It may not be my wife's legal name, but
it is nevertheless the correct form of address.