May 30th, 2006
In a brief investigation of the joys of sleeping, Gretchen Rubin, in her blog, The Happiness Project, talks about being at a dinner party where â€œeveryone literally went around the table detailing the best nap theyâ€™d ever had.â€
Suddenly, Iâ€™m twenty-one again. My buddies are bragging about their best pieces of ass. These guys know their way around women — not just around. I donâ€™t speak up. Iâ€™d recently been discharged from the Army and my only conquests were hookers.
Today, naps come to mind in this context because, honestly, Iâ€™d pay to have one.
There are nap-houses in some cities now. Places you go to spend twenty bucks for as many minutes in a lush sleeping environment. I fantasize about the mattress, the luxurious fabrics, the dark filtered air in the room. But as a napper Iâ€™m terrible. Performance anxiety, probably.
I have trouble sleeping at night as well, but I do not remember ever having had a nap. There are no pictures of me napping as a child.
Still, some days I lie down and try to nod off. I put in good wax ear plugs, but that just keeps the outside sounds out. I hear in my chest the muffled gush and thump of blood going about its business and it hits me Iâ€™ve used up 75% of my allocated heart-beats. I begin to count my remaining ones. I give myself twenty years — that means I have 500 million left. Counting things doesnâ€™t make me restful.
Pretty soon, I hear myself swallow. Wow, peristalsis. Itâ€™s fascinating. What if it stops working? Now Iâ€™m on guard. The next few swallows are very difficult, so I sit up to facilitate them.
My antenna rotates and picks up an old TV show. A documentary of some kind about fatal insomia. Itâ€™s a rare disease, but real. I think itâ€™s genetic. Or itâ€™s a virus you pick up. Or it has something to do with worry, I worry.
I think I should try to nap more often. Maybe itâ€™s like the lottery — Iâ€™ll never win if I donâ€™t buy a ticket.