Sunday, December 8, 2013

Sleepy Town

For some reason, I've been meeting an increasing number of people who know me as "The guy who never sleeps."  I even met someone last week for the first time (a stranger) who said to me in our initial conversation:  "Oh, I've heard of you . . . you're that guy who never sleeps."

Well, but I do sleep.

Let me explain.

Yes, it is true that I often rise very early in the morning to begin writing.  But this is only because I am an idiot . . . and because I must.   Believe me, I would much rather rise when my wife does (at 5:30 a.m.)  I don't really enjoy getting up at 3 a.m., or at 4:30, or at any time when it is dark.  I don't enjoy being the first person at the gym when it opens at 5 a.m.  Actually, I only do these things to impress my wife, so she won't feel that she is working harder than me (though she does!).  I get up early so my two grown children, and my son-in-law, will continue to love and respect me.  If I sleep late, or allow them to beat me to the coffee pot, then I must settle for Tang . . . and Tang is getting more difficult to find these days since the space program has been de-funded and Nestle discontinued manufacturing "Space Sticks".  (Remember those?)

It is also true that I often stay up late to write.  But again, this is only because I have no life and because my wife and I only couple two times per year (if we happen to think of it or if I can talk her into the mix with chocolates and flowers).  Yes, I would prefer to go to bed early (and with my wife).  I don't like writing at night until Ted Koppel's show airs at 1 a.m. (Wait . . . is Koppel still living?)  It is difficult to write in a dream state, but then, that's when a lot of my science fiction really comes alive, when I can't distinguish the difference between fantasy and reality. 

Now, some of you may think my life is a fantasy . . . but I assure you that I do eat, and drink, and sleep and everything.  Sometimes I eat a bag of licorice.

And yes, I do sleep.  Eventually this pace lands me on the couch, and sometimes I fall asleep behind the wheel of the car and arrive at my destination, my gas tank filled at Sunoco . . . and I have no idea how I got there or why I am eating a Krispy Kreme doughnut.  Sometimes I wake up in the morning to discover that I have slept until 8 a.m. and have missed two writing deadlines.  I have to call these editors and apologize for my delinquency and beg for second-chances.  I eat another Krispy Kreme and wonder how or when an entire box appeared.

So, as you can see . . . I do sleep.  Probably not as much as the average weirdo, but I do sleep.  It's just that my sleep is like a patchwork quilt--I have to piece my sleep together out of irregular patches of time, or stitch a full night's sleep out of two oddly-cut days, and sometimes I have to sew my fingers together so that I can relax. 

Chances are, if you called me at 3 a.m., I'd be writing.  But then, I might also be sleeping.  So don't call.  Not unless you want to meet at Krispy Kreme . . . and you're buying!

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