I’m sleepy; are you sleepy? So sleepy.
I’ve been working from home for over a month now because of COVID-19. Alongside obsessive hand-washing, only going outside to either exercise or buy groceries, eating a lot of comforting peanut butter toast, reading very little (sigh), texting and emailing and calling my friends all the durn time, I’m napping. I nap almost every day, sometimes twice in a day. I’ve been accumulating naps like they’re value-packs of toilet paper and the first thing that will disappear at the end of days will be TP.
My napping has evolved over the past 4.5 weeks. Back in the day, I napped like I was dying: every nap was a full coma nap that lasted hours and hours and was almost impossible to wake up from.
There’s no time for that sort of thing now; I also don’t have the bendy spine and narrow shoulders of my youth (or my cats) to make coma slumber a real possibility anymore. After age 35, there’s only so much time a person can spend sleeping; after age 35, it’s just as likely as not that you’ll wake up injured.
I’ve created a handy bullet-table outlining my napping achievements during the COVID-19 lock-down in Toronto:
- Week 1: Work all day; stop work precisely at 5 to nap; wake up thirsty and famished and cobble dinner together.
- Week 2: Work, freak out, nap at lunch, eat feelings, work more, eat dinner/feelings, watch TV.
- Week 3: What week is it again? We’ve been home for months and months already, right? Nap whenever and ruining the night’s sleep.
- Week 4: Okay fine. Nap or don’t nap, but definitely have bizarre COVID-19 anxiety dreams, some of which (last night’s) involve finding a guy standing trouserless in a river fishing (and somehow also holding an umbrella) because it’s safer there.
- Week 5 (sample set of 3; it’s only Wednesday): Try to meditate (sort of) over the lunch hour, fall asleep (for sure on purpose) in a dark room with a purring cat (specially selected for the event) leaning against one’s hip, back, or shoulder. Regret nothing.
My neck hurts a bit from all this napping but it’s better than dealing with this truly fucked up situation by breaking into closed public parks, getting drunk, trolling people on the internet, eating (even more) chocolate, or punching the heads of all the people here still breaking into closed public parks. My friend M. tells me the premier of Nova Scotia is pretty much constantly on the verge of dropping the f-bomb as he brusquely reminds everyone repeatedly to stop breaking into closed public parks, etc.
What I find amazing about this situation is that there isn’t actually more time to do stuff than there was before; the time I used to spend commuting to work (and reading happily while so doing)…I don’t know where that time is; all I know is, I don’t have it and neither does anyone else I know. My husband definitely doesn’t have it; he’s the hero doing the fierce lion’s share of standing in long lines to buy groceries for us. My friend J. describes pandemic life as “the meantime in between time,” which I think makes sense: it’s grey, fuzzy, and diffuse but doesn’t promise any more time for fun-times. Naps seem like as good a way as any to spend these hours without beginning and end TBD.
I suspect that, looking back on these bizarre and borderless days, I’ll remember the napping, all the books I didn’t read in the first month and then all the books I DID read in the second month; beyond that, there be existential dragons so let’s not go there for the moment.
But this seems hopeful: A key part of my normal self made an aggressive comeback yesterday; in a process that can only be likened to a sad beastie being randomly overtaken by one of those ants that turn them into zombie slaves (definitely a real thing that happens somewhere), my recently acquired pandemic frugality was wrestled into submission and I madly and gleefully spent many dollars buying myself some books over the internet. I may even read them when they show up, but no promises.