Thursday, October 11, 2007

On sleep.

Today, I got a call at nine, telling me I didn't have to work at five.

I proceeded to sleep the living hell out of today. This was no mere nap, either, it was a powerful sleep that took me several hours past the point where a lesser man would have, for example, gotten out of bed to pee and get a sandwich.

(Circumstantial evidence suggests I did in fact get out of bed to pee but simply didn't remember it. There was, however, no evidence of a sandwich, somnassembled or otherwise.)

Eventually, WELL into the afternoon, my slumber broke. And I lay there for another hour or so, intently attempting to go back to sleep. You know, when you're in bed, eyes shut, perfectly aware of your surroundings yet -willing- yourself not to be? That's about the best thing in the world. I don't know about you folks, but that's when I get some real dreaming on. Yeah, that's right, when I'm awake. Or... sort of awake.

As an aside, I think it's a cultural thing to tend towards binaries, even when we know they aren't exactly true. Very few people are perfect exemplars of a Democrat or Republican, say (and despite this, third parties are generally ostracized). While the vast majority of us is absolutely male or female, the vast minority of us is wholly masculine or feminine, genetics being a bit more absolute than psychology. Likewise, while the good Doctor Kinsey made clear that about as many people are 100% straight as are 100% gay (to wit: almost nobody), the humble bisexual is still considered a freak to all involved. Right and wrong, good and evil, alive and dead, black and white... I could go on all day (and since this was the cornerstone of Deconstructionism, I HAVE gone on all day, but I will spare you remnants of my English Capstone), but I merely mention this to point out that I tend to see myself as being either Awake or Asleep, two separate states that ne'er shall meet, one giving way to the other. And yet this is not true, for there is that glorious fuzzy gray area, the Snooze, which I think is the most rewarding of all.

You see, I am a dude who tends not to remember his dreams, and those he does he remembers as being really quite nonsensical, if entertaining. However, during the Snooze, my conscious is capable of snagging that material because it's not turned off. On the other hand, my inner neuroticism, constant companion and foil, is turned to a bare minimum. I see what I'm dreaming... legitimately sense it in a way that I do not when simply imagining things with my waking mind, because I'm partly asleep, but I form a coherent narrative, and might even have some control over the goings-on, because I'm partly awake. I imagine that lucid dreaming is the same way, the mean between the extremes, rather than a special condition in one.

And so I Snoozed, for an hour or so. Dreamt of the the future, and of the Future, and of other fun things that, like all dreams, are more entertaining to experience than to hear about. Every so often I would open my eyes and note the clock, just in case. My sense of time is no good in this state, five minutes felt as long as twenty felt as long as less than one. And it was really, really lovely.

Of course, while snoozing is fun, there comes a point where enough is enough. Like chocolate, or sex, or Dr. Who; it doesn't stop being enjoyable, really, but you eventually reach a point where you just don't want any more of a good thing. Boredom is the evolutionary advantage that kept our cro-magnon cronies up and active and inventing civilization rather than simply snoozing, snacking, sss-... fucking, or watching reruns of Medicine Man Who on PreBC 4.

So I woke up, for reals. And went about my business. Almost crashed my car, too. Got some stuff done, I did, but the most interesting part of my day, I totally spent asleep.


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