Peter Writes About Sleep And Stress
Peter Tatara - August 27, 2008
As a kid, I took unrivaled joy in staying up as late as possible. I regularly watched Letterman on a tiny TV with the volume down low so my lame, slumbering parents wouldn't realize their little boy was still awake, and at least twice a week, I secretly stayed up to watch Conan, too. Hell, I was up to 3 or 4 AM for special occasions like if I was in the zone drawing a fucking awesome picture of a robot fighting a dinosaur or if my TV picked up any blurry, soft core porn.
It used to be a badge of honor to stay up long enough to see the sunrise, but, last week, as the first rays of a newborn sun touched my rundown eyes, I wanted a bullet in my head. In the high-stress, high-stakes world of whatever it is I do, I've got to put in the occasional all-nighter and pretty regular 3 AM wake up call to find time to care of special assignments. If I can rap up a project without losing a night of sleep, it's a special occasion.
There haven't been any special occasions recently, and I find myself setting my alarm clock earlier and earlier -- if I go to bed at all -- just to get through all my mail. It's funny, too, as the days I go into the office wearing the same clothes I did yesterday and stubble soaking up my face, I'm told I look great, I'm in a good mood, and I'm extra friendly. I used to just lift an eyebrow, scratch my head, and mutter something to myself, but I've realized it's true. I'm more jovial, more animated, and generally more interesting when I'm lacking sleep. When my mental defenses are down, that little voice in my head that tells me to behave disappears, and you get a much more sarcastic Peter. And, hell, if people assume fake friendliness is friendliness, everybody wins.
I kinda haven't slept in a while right now. See, I had planned to write about how I like to sleep and how, since growing up, I've started sleeping a lot more than I did when I was a kid. Now, if I can get home, get dinner, and get to bed before 10 PM, I'm a happy man. Letterman? Conan? Haven't seem them for years. I'd love to stay up to watch them, but Peter's greatest desire is to fall apart the moment he gets in the door.
This is the part of the story where I'm supposed to pull that line about my "lame, slumbering parents" from up top and talk about how I guess they weren't so lame after all. When you grow up, when you get hit with stress, you don't want to stay up to watch late night television. No, you want to turn off. You want to pass out early, often, hard, and fast.
Did I make that link yet? About how I want to sleep more because of stress? Not really. In fact, most of the above words talk about how I'm not sleeping, which kind of defeats my first sentence about sleeping a lot. Oh, wait, that's not even there any more. My first sentence used to be "I sleep a lot," but that was deleted long ago.
But, you're a smart reader, right? You can put all the pieces together and discover the greater subtext to my story -- even through the actual text is kinda shitty? You can send me one of those Westin Heavenly Beds? Seriously, if you know someone who works for Westin, get me one. Those beds are fucking awesome. More fucking awesome than a robot fighting a dinosaur.
Maybe I should try to write this when I'm not tired.