It is something like my sixteenth day of no sleep. Well, not really. Let me amend: It is something like my sixteenth day of two to three hours of fitful sleep, punctuated both by bad dreams and ungodly noises around me. I say “something like,” because this doesn’t feel like a day at all, and the idea of “sixteen” is similarly nebulous. When did I last sleep through the night? Oh, you know, that one time. It seems that the more exhausted I become, the more sensitive my hearing becomes — an inverse ratio of auditory acumen to slumbering prowess that leaves me desperately unhappy. Earplugs are right out, as are headphones and eighty-four pillows; I need to be able to hear Connor.
At this point I can hear dogs three blocks away, the cat walking in the driveway, every snore and turn of both Michael (next to me) and Connor (in his room, door shut, several walls away). I can hear the neighbors get up to pee. I can hear the neighbors get up and blast rap music at 5:30. Boomp boomp boomp boomp… BA BOOMP boomp boomp boomp… Over and over until I am insane, hatefully shrewish and filled with spite: Fuck you, Mr. Big Rap Guy, it is NOT EVEN 6:00 AM. ON A SATURDAY. And fuck you, Michael “I Refuse To Blow My Nose” Pino, I hope you realize that sex is not an inalienable right because you are never getting any ever again.
This is so crazy and it’s not even made better by my new pseudo-fancy coffee. (Gevalia: It Ain’t Great, But It Also Ain’t Folger’s. Or, perhaps, Gevalia: You Win Some, You Lose Some.) Okay, well, maybe it would be made better by my new pseudo-fancy coffee, if I could get out of this chair and go make some. My new schmancy-pants coffeemaker (a $99 value, free with purchase of pseudo-fancy coffee) arrived with a broken carafe, so nothing is programmed to happen automatically — I am stuck with measuring and pouring and flipping a switch all by myself, and it is just too much. No coffee for me, although my heart yearns. It’s too bad, because yesterday I was perilously close to writing a rhapsodic entry about the new coffee/machine combo, and instead there is now this dreck.
I don’t know how to sleep anymore. I am angry at everything — Michael, for snoring and talking and flinging himself about in his sleep; Connor, for insisting that sunrise is time to get up; the new neighbors, for their incomprehensible routine which entails thumping bass lines before dawn, company arriving at 6:30, and allowing their yippy little dog and similarly yippy little brat to frolic about under my window from dawn to dusk. I am angry at the cats, because they walk and purr and eat and drink. Sometimes they meow, play with jingly toys, or fight; these are the times I seriously consider selling them to the sketchy Chinese restaurant on the square. I am angry at the wind and the snow, which yes, I can hear falling, no matter what you say. I am angry at passing cars, even those which do not pass my house but instead pass the stores half a mile away. I am angry at the few birds who have returned from their vacations, angry at the elementary school two blocks away, and angry at anyone who has ever breathed heavily through his or her mouth in an attempt to “breathe quietly.” (A hint: Mouthbreathing is not noticeably more soothing than the snoring and muttering that caused me to whap you, so please just go blow your nose.)
I am mostly angry at myself, because this revision of Princess/Pea dichotomy is unbearable. Nobody lives like this. Nobody can hear snow falling, nobody can hear a two-year-old move his leg under the covers in another room! Nobody takes four hours to fall asleep when they have been awake for twenty-eight, and if somebody were to do so, they would certainly not pussy around with this light-sleeping, hyper-aware bullshit. This is inhuman. When it sank in that I would not be getting any more sleep this morning (I was awakened by Michael at 5:35, deluded myself until 7:00) I shouted at Michael, called him an inconsiderate dick who doesn’t give a shit if I have a breakdown as long as he gets his precious nine hours a night, and stormed into the living room to cry. This is not how normal, functioning adults live. This is obviously affecting everything from my relationships to my toilet bowl; I haven’t scrubbed anything with bleach in at least two weeks.
Tell me, dear readers: How do you do it? How do you fall asleep and stay asleep? I will settle for six hours a night — five, if they are unbroken and deep. I will settle for neither ushering in a new day nor seeing it break; if I never see another gorgeous winter sunrise it will be okay by me. I can’t even joke about this anymore. I want my head to unfuzz and lose weight, I want my body to stop moving as if through molasses, stop aching, and move both freely and with a semblance of speed. I want to sleep in.