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 “everyone literally went around the table detailing the best nap they’d ever had.”

Suddenly, I’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 don’t speak up. I’d recently been discharged from the Army and my only conquests were hookers.

Today, naps come to mind in this context because, honestly, I’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 I’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 I’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 doesn’t make me restful.

Pretty soon, I hear myself swallow. Wow, peristalsis. It’s fascinating. What if it stops working? Now I’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. It’s a rare disease, but real. I think it’s genetic. Or it’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 it’s like the lottery — I’ll never win if I don’t buy a ticket.

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