Insomnia (sort of)
So insomnia. I used to have a nightmare boss. I know you’re going to say I should have had more sympathy, but really, she was a nightmare. She had really bad insomnia. And she used to go on about it all the time. And occasionally she used to break into tears. What was particularly great about her is that she used to claim that she was laying awake at night worrying about the project – about the work I was doing. The work I was doing was fine. It was just that she was stupid. Or as she put it “a perfectionist.” That what stupid people call themselves often. There are many other self-applied names for stupid people, but this is a common one. I was always tempted. Always. I was always tempted. Oh yeah – the fuckwit chick at the next table has reminded me of a new thing that stupid people call themselves – professionals. I was always tempted to say to her, when she was telling me that she hadn’t slept all night because she was worrying that the work were doing was shit, when in fact it was fine, “really?” You didn’t sleep? That’s terrible, I had a great night – 8 hours, straight through.” I never did. Maybe I should have been more sympathetic, she had a clinical condition that stopped her being able to sleep – she was stupid. Because she lay awake at night worrying about shit that really worth worrying about. I suppose perfectionism is a kind of disability – if you really, honestly can’t say “fuck it, that’ll do.” That’s a really fucking disability, you sure are going to live a miserable life.
As you can see, insomnia bores me. I don’t have a lot of fucking sympathy. That is, of course, until it affected me. Last week I had the worst sleep of my life. I had a week at home in England away from where I’m currently working in Kansas. I had really bad jet lag. I kept waking up, wide awake in the middle of the fucking night and then not being able to sleep. There is a limited number of things that you can do in the middle of the night. I knew for certain that when I woke up at 4:30, 3:30, 2:30, wide awake, I knew that there was no way that I was going to get back to sleep for three hours. I don’t know, maybe I should just have jumped on a night bus and gone to bar Italia. Maybe I should have gone for a walk. Sitting at home in the middle of the night isn’t that much fun.
Then towards the end of the week, my insomnia got an extra, weird grace note. I’m a bit loathe to admit this, but it’s the truth. It turns out that I have something called “Sleep Apnoea” which means that I stop breathing while I’m sleeping. Turns out that I stop breathing while I’m sleeping about 60 times an hour. This means that 60 times an hour while I’m asleep my brain goes “Oh fuck! I’m suffocating” and wakes me up just a little bit, just enough for me to start breathing again. The result of this is that when I wake up, I’m fucking knackered. And of course, this is closely related to being fat. Very fat. If I wasn’t so fat, I probably wouldn’t snore so much, and if I didn’t snore, I probably wouldn’t have the sleep apnoea. So is there a cure for this? Well, nobody’s talked to me about a cure – getting thin would be a cure, but I wouldn’t bet the farm – or even the change in your back pocket on me getting thin anytime soon. There isn’t a cure, but there is a treatment – which is to provide you with something called a CPAP machine – this is essentially a bouncy castle pump which you attach to the fat person (sorry, sleep apnoea sufferer). The pump keeps pumping air into the fat person. So when they get too lazy to breath of their own accord, it re-inflates them. It is so sexy.
It is so sexy that it might almost make me exercise and eat sensibly. It might. So on top of not being able to sleep because of the jet lag, now I was trying to get off sleep whilst being attached to a machine that should more reasonably be attached to Corky the Clown’s Fun House. Weirdly enough – even though I’m certain I look like a Cyborg, I have managed to sleep up to about 6 hours a night with this thing on. And I think I have noticed an improvement in how awake I am during the day. And because of the jet lag thing, I think I’ve got a new found sympathy for people who have insomnia. Well, at least people who have insomnia for some good honest, decent reason, like they’ve got jet lag. I still have zero sympathy for perfectionists.
The fuckwit chick at the next table is reading out texts from her fuckwit chick friends to her fuckwit chick friend. They should record THAT and sell it on tape – there aren’t many people who wouldn’t go to sleep listening to that shit. Actually, what I’ve been using for the last week, when I had to absolutely certain that I could go to sleep because I had to get up in the morning was an audio book “The Way of Zen” by Alan Watts. There’s about 10 hours of it, so there’s plenty to choose from. Just pick a section of that and you’ll be off in a few minutes. This is no disrespect to Alan Watts (who it seems to me was a pretty cool dude, although, in the 50’s he must have seemed like a Martian to most folks) or Zen.
OK folks, I should probably leave you know. I’m going to have a nice evening walking around a supermarket, albeit, a very fancy health food supermarket. Really, it’s the most entertaining thing to do around here. Anybody got any vegan recipes? I am so fat I have become a one-man fairground. I need to eat Tofu until I can breathe again all by myself.