Friday, October 08, 2004

Dawn of the Dead

A couple of days ago I did something I almost never do--I overslept. And I don't rarely oversleep because I don't like to sleep. Believe me, I love to sleep, but I have weird sleep patterns. I typically wake between 2 and 5 am feeling wide awake. (And no, I don't consume caffeine--this is a life-long pattern.) I used to just lie there and hope to fall back asleep at some point, but a couple of years ago I started getting up and writing during that time and I found I really liked those quiet hours. I used to go back to bed, maybe an hour before the alarm was set to go off, and go back to sleep. This, of course, left me feeling like a zombie when it was time to really get up. I did that for YEARS. But about a year ago, I started just staying up. So I don't oversleep because I'm already up when the alarm goes off.

A few nights ago I'd been dealing with a family issue that had me quite upset. I woke around 1:30 or 2:00 and got up to finish writing a letter to someone. And because I was up so early (and because all of the obsessing over the issue had me worn out), I went back to bed and eventually went back to sleep.

The next thing I knew I was waking to the boyfriend standing next to the bed and practically yelling at me to "WAKE UP!" while clapping his hands. I was enjoying a truly deep sleep, so I felt really disoriented to be awakened that way. I rolled over and looked at him standing there in his work clothes, with a rather distressed look on his face, and said, "Wha....???" He said, "Wake up! It's 8:00!" (I'm due at work at 7:30.) Then he proceeded to sputter that he'd been yelling at me and calling my name and had rung the doorbell 30 or 40 times. And all I could think was, "Why??" Why didn't he just gently shake me to wake me up? He said, "I thought you were awake when I left (for work)." Um, clearly not, since I don't even remember you getting up, let alone leaving.

So I stumbled out of bed and walked to the phone to call my employer to tell him I'd be late. I knew it would be no big deal. Then I got ready for work and was delighted to find that there's no traffic at that time of the morning. What a treat!

Because of the way I'd been jolted awake, I felt sort of half-asleep and out of it for a couple of hours after I was at work. It really started my day off wrong, to say the least. And I began to wonder why the boyfriend had even been at home at 8 am. The crew guys report to work at 6:30 and get a break at 9:00, so he's typically not home until then.

It wasn't until I was ready to retire that night that I thought to ask him why the hell he'd been yelling and clapping to wake me up. He said he'd driven by in his (golf) cart and saw the car was still here. He briefly wondered if maybe I'd been unable to start it for some reason and had taken a taxi to work. So he walked up the trail to the condo--leaving his keys in the cart--and rang the doorbell...30 or 40 times. This was after he'd yelled my name a few times from the cart path below. He figured I was probably at work, but felt compelled to check just in case. So he walked back down the trail to retrieve his keys from the cart. When he walked inside, he saw my bag was still sitting where I always leave it, so then he became concerned. He walked down the hallway, calling my name the entire way, only to find me in bed with..."that look." I asked, "What look? Like I was knocked out hard?" He said, "No, like you were...dead." I said, "Let me get this straight. You became alarmed because you thought something might be wrong with me, so you yelled at me rather than just shaking me to try to wake me?" He said, "You scared me. You had...that look." Two things struck me about this: 1) It must be so rare for my poor insomnia-ridden body to be in that deep of a sleep that he simply doesn't know what I look like when I'm sleeping that soundly, and 2) it's nice to know that if something ever did happen to me that rather than rushing to my aid, he'd probably be found standing over me poking me with a stick.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not sure if I ought to be laughing at this, but I was entertained from start to finish :) Thanks for the smile this early in the morning!

10:10 AM  

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