Schleep


" … while The Muse snoozed placidly beside me."

Sleep has never been much of a friend for me. A tough state to enter and a tougher one to remain engaged in, I find it more of a schlep than a sweet embrace: a Schleep, if I dare coin a term. I dutifully set my alarm before retiring, but almost always wake a half hour before it gets around to reminding me to get up again. I maintain a routine my doctor frowns over, insisting that my brain could not possibly adequately reinvigorate in the scant time I allocate for that purpose. I don't know anything about adequacies. I simply take what I seem to tolerate without over-worrying about how deficient my habit might leave me. I subscribe to a notion that everyone carries a unique rhythm into this life. Those fortunate enough to find that rhythm and manage to somehow match it seem especially fortunate. Those who scour the self-help shelves looking for outside advice so as to conform to somebody's sense of normalcy might never properly settle in.

When some event disrupts my curious rhythm, I become dysfunctional. Illness or exhaustion might encourage me to wrestle with my dozy adversary more than might prove beneficial to me. More sleep generally leaves me feeling more depleted; less, more enlivened.
Fours hours will do me fine through most any situation. Eight hours lays me low. I won't sleep for eight contiguous hours, anyway, generally waking after no more that three hours, as if to simply see what there might be to see around me then. The Muse seems almost impervious to my middle of the night creepings where I wander around the place with the lights off, occasionally barking a shin on a passing piece of furniture. Rose The Skittish Spinster Cat usually accompanies me, sometimes getting stepped on, spying an opportunity to beg for fresh food, which she will in any case snub, anyway. I usually head back to bed after a brief ramble, but only to warm myself up a bit. I might doze fitfully for another hour or so before finding myself impatiently watching my alarm clock crawl toward remembering to chime.

I nap better now than I ever overnight slept. A halfway decent lunch and a mildly boring book, and I might be good for a quick half hour of snooze. I dislike dreaming and usually find their content disturbing once I figure out what's going on. I remain a sincere sucker for dreams, never really catching on that I am dreaming until one's slipped away. I hardly ever ponder after any deeper meaning, the underlying symbolism evaporating about as quickly as the plot line itself, usually seconds after I open my eyes. Sometimes feelings linger longer, often disturbing feelings but occasionally more comforting ones. Whichever kind visited me, I shake and shrug them off quickly before just getting on with whatever it was I intended to get on with.

I hold no particular animosity toward Schleep. I don't consider it a curse visited upon me. I think of it more of an inconvenience, a chore, an obligation, sometimes a refuge. I can tell when I'm depressed or discouraged because I will catch myself more interested in sleeping, though that interest tends to manifest itself in Schleeping instead. If there were a pillow version of Worldwide Wrestling Federation competition, I fancy that I would be a real contender. Growling malevolently, I'd enter the ring, a massive, circular pillow-top California king-sized piled high with every imaginable pillow shape and size. I'd roughly grab a small feather-filled job, forcing it down into a forearm fold, topping it with a decorative number, simultaneously smothering both in. A standard size in white might fly over my shoulder to land with a muffled oof halfway across the room. The action would be almost non-stop, a real crowd pleaser, while The Muse snoozed placidly beside me.

©2018 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved









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