For this Foibles Monday, I divulge a weirdness that will keep you up at night.
No, wait . . . It’ll keep me up at night, not you. My bad. Go back to sleep. I’ll tell you how it ends.
For those still awake, it goes something like this . . .
I am Not a Vampire
For as long as I can remember I’ve never wanted to sleep at night. It’s not that I couldn’t . . . as soon as I lay my head to my pillow, I’m gone. For the next seven hours, nothing can wake me. A brass band could be tuning up next to my bed without a complaint from me.
But getting my head on that pillow never seems to occur to me until the sun pokes its little beak above the horizon, only to facepaw when it catches me still awake.
Perhaps I was born with faulty wiring, my circadian rhythms permanently skewed 12 hours out of sync from all you “normal” people. More than once a friend has noticed my sleep patterns and wondered with trepidation whether I slept in a coffin during the day. I’ve thought about the bat thing and how awesome it would be to fly around wherever I wanted. If only I didn’t faint at the sight of blood. ~shudder~
Nope, that’s not it.
No, for me the wavelength of my mind seems to clear during the wee hours of the night, when most everyone else is sleeping. All the noise dies down, like the traffic outside my window, and I can hear my own thoughts. I’m never so awake as I am the hours leading to dawn.
My entire life has been this way. I don’t know if my parents were ever aware of it. If they were, they must have thrown up their hands at my assumed insomnia (though sleeping wasn’t really a problem for me, as I mentioned). But since I kept my awakedness to myself, without stirring up my siblings, then I guess it was alright.
When I was young, I remember many nights sitting in my window, watching how different the city moved in the dark, listening to the strange sounds on the radio. AM stations propagating in from distant cities as they bounced off the ionosphere with the sun charging it beyond the horizon. On weekends I would spend the wee hours listening to the Dr. Demento Show . . . which might shed light on my odd sense of humor. By the time I was in high school I’d replaced the AM radio with a shortwave set I’d built from a kit I got for Christmas, listening to the BBC World Service or Radio Australia. Once I’d found out about Ham Radio, the die was set: I studied for a license and spent the tiny hours tapping out Morse code to New Zealand or Equador or Czechoslovakia.
Again my parents put up with this . . . perhaps this new worldliness–or was it geekiness–was a relief from all the other weird things that must have been confusing them about me. My little attic room looked like the cockpit of an airplane, an entire wall covered in radio gear and other gizmos I’d wired up myself from spare parts I collected by the pound.
Sadly the radio thing faded away, not long after I got out on my own. Morse code became passe, then disappeared from the hobby altogether, though I can still dit-dah with ease today. The Internet took away the rest of the challenge soon after: It was just easier to surf and email.
Meanwhile, the sleep thing has continued to follow me everywhere. To the point I wonder if my neighbors are keeping themselves well stocked in garlic and crosses. These days I’m up in the wee hours doing silly things like homework, or web surfing, or gaming, or . . . oh, apparently blogging now. Anything to occupy those wakeful hours til dawn. Even if I do wish I spent more time with the “normal” people in the daylight . . .
But, lo . . . I think I’ve found a cure!
I’ve noticed in my life that it only takes a kiss and the feeling of arms around me at night . . . and suddenly my circadian rhythms wrench themselves back around, perfectly matching my partner’s. With but a touch, I am sleeping like a “normal” human being. Perhaps this was my thing all along: on some level I just don’t want to sleep without love. When I find myself alone, I still blog to all hours of the night (it’s 3:45 AM as I write this). But just a pair of arms and lips and it all changes.
Having a girlfriend again has reintroduced me to the beauty of an early morning dew, the cool freshness of a new day, long productive days shared with “normal” people, doing “normal” things at “normal” times of day.
But the nights still hold a special place in my heart, when I fall happily asleep to a kiss, knowing another will be waiting for me when I awake.
Hmmm, I think I see the sky starting to glow. ~yawn~ . . . time for bed.