I have this addiction, see.
I love sleep. I love to doze off. I love knowing my bed well enough to lay in it just right and let go of every muscular tension. I love the weight of my wool duvet and the cool of my sheets. I love pushing the balls of my feet against the footboard in a full body stretch. I love waking up in the middle of the night, reading 2:00am on my watch and knowing I have hours more of bliss.
I love feather pillows and pillows stuffed with cotton. I love wool mats and firm mattresses and egg crate foam. I love my sleeping bag. I love jersey sheets and flannel sheets and the old flowery sheets at home that are years-thin. I love my bed here; I love that I can acclimate to sleeping on the floor for months at a time. I love my bed at home, and I love that I always feel safe and comforted after a nap in my parents’ bed.
When I was in high school, our Sunday Bible class started with highlights of the week. It became a joke that my highlight-of-the-week always included a fantastic nap. I love to sleep in cars; I love being carried while I dream. I remember a specific doze in the back of a van riding from Honduras to Guatemala with road air blasting in through the open window and Death Cab for Cutie coming from my Walkman. In Kolkata, naps were best laying flat on the cool marble floor while warm air swirled in from the windows. My freshman year of college I built naps into my schedule, stealing an hour here and there to run back to my dorm room, click on the box fan, and curl up under my comforter. I actually planned naps for Anthropology 101 and woke up embarrassingly often with drool-wet notes. Back home, there is not better nap-holder than the big, overstuffed, dark green, corduroy couch, especially after a Sunday meal when the house is quite and all seven of us have found a place to roost.
My recipe for the perfect doze: a place you can sink into, daylight barely wisping in through drawn curtains, a fan gently brushing cool air across ankles and face and a quilt pulled up around my shoulders.
But here’s the thing. I think sleep has become a problem. Or perhaps it has always been one.
In my earliest recollection, school nights became school mornings that started with my dad coming into the my brother’s and my room with a tender, “Time to get up.” This was ignored prompting another attempt before the cruel light was flicked on and covers were pulled back. Groaning I would slowly slide out of bed and into clothes, and then I would sit for what I’m sure seemed too long in the doorway next my shoes, thinking and thinking about the labor involved in putting them on and how this contributed to the cruelty of the world.
I am always slow to rise. Every morning is an end. After the second alarm rings and I wildly and blindly sling my arm around to hit the off button, I consider how I need to flex the right muscles in order to put feet on the floor, stand and dress. If I don’t act within a millionth of a second it is already to late. The idea of turning over, curling back into relaxation and warm covers and is too overwhelming. On the worst days involve quiet groans of, “I don’t want to get up,” and multiple weak resolutions to rise followed by stronger resolutions to nestle a while longer. It can be a full hour of this before I get to the day.
Truth is, even if I spring out of bed at 6am, I won’t fully wake up until 10. There is not coffee in the world that would make a difference. I am really at my best between 3pm and 2am. But as you know, the world starts working at 8am. Blessed am I that my life hasn’t groomed me to follow the light to work-wrenching fields. But shucks if it isn’t a pain for everyone else who’d like to actually like me to get something done before 10.
My Armenian coworkers deserve a more 9am oriented volunteer. Any ideas?
Sidenote: Peace Corps hosted an HIV/AIDS poster competition in January. Our office helped over 30 village students participate. But just check out how great this one is. Maybe it’s the melodramatic Earth that does it for me. It’s kind of Scarlett O’Hara maybe with one hand on a hip, the other on the forhead, the tear and the giant, “NO!” Of course, the Earth is much more justified in her melodrama that O’Hara, I say. I digress. The poster is awesome.