Falling asleep has never been easy for me.
Some say it’s my erratic hours as a sorta-journalist. Some say it’s the four gallons of caffeine I guzzle daily. A few even suspect I’m a vampire, though a friend says that’s not because I’m suave like that Eddie dude from “Twilight” but because I’m extremely white.
Oh well. I’ve accepted the fact that insomnia, along with extreme whiteness, is one of my many flaws. I’ve given up trying to understand it.
But what doesn’t seem fair to me is that I have just as hard of a time waking up as I do going to sleep. At night, it’s like I don’t want to give up on the day. And in the morning, I don’t want to give up on the night. The alarm clock is not my friend.
My wife usually wakes before me. I think she resents this — along with the fact that while she’s worked to death, my bosses here don’t even know what I do or if I’m on the payroll. She thinks the least I could do is get up early to come to the office and begin such pressing journalistic endeavors as hurling sharp pencils into the ceiling — and occasionally extracting sharp pencils from editors.
Granted, my wife has never actually voiced her frustration with my inability to jump out of bed and greet the day like Mister Rogers. But I can pick up on her little signs, such as the way she makes sure to pick hair dryers powered by used 747 engines and the fact that she closes drawers in such a way that I think a dump truck has veered off the highway and into our bedroom — startling me so much that sometimes I’ll actually roll over and go “ugh” before concentrating on my snoring again.
But, eventually, I do roll out of bed — usually after a staredown with the alarm clock. It resents that its snooze button’s been hit more than Larry Holmes. I resent that its alarm sounds like an angry cockatiel screaming through a megaphone.
I especially hate it when I somehow — perhaps by crashing of drawers and jet-powered hair dryers — wake on my own and roll over to see that I have only like two minutes longer to sleep. Then I get all anxious trying to squeeze in 120 seconds of really good sleep before the cockatiel, er, clock screams at me.
“Come on, Chris. You can sleep. Just one minute of deep relaxing sleep. You can do it! … AIEEE! AIEEE! AIEEE! … Dang it!”
Of course, that feeling is offset by the joy of rolling over, seeing 7 a.m. on the clock and realizing it’s like Sunday, when I can squeeze every ounce of sleep from my body.
That’s when my wife hovers with her 747 hair dryer and says, “It’s a beautiful day. You’re not gonna waste it sleeping, are you?”
“Um, yeah, I was thinking about it.”
By the way, “AIEEE” is the sound screaming, megaphone-holding cockatiels would make if they could hold a megaphone with those little wings.
Just in case you were wondering.
Chris Johnson, whose column runs on Sundays, can be reached at 706-320-4403.