Sleep is currently the most valuable commodity in our house. We use it to barter with, like cigarettes in prison. When I told my wife she could go back to bed yesterday she looked happier than when I proposed.
I’ve been in denial all this time. Telling myself and anyone who asked that I wasn’t too tired at all-thank you-very-much. Coping really well without sleep-ta-for-asking. But as I was washing my hands with toothpaste this morning I realised I’ve been living a lie.
Halfway through a conversation with anyone who isn’t my wife I’m fine for the opening hellos and small talk but as soon as they ask me an important question my brain turns to mush quicker than a frog in a blender. My mouth then joins in on the act and slarts slurring random vowels while my face makes a desperate cry for help. The only question that I definitively know the answer to is, ‘do you want a cup of coffee, Sam?’
CHRIST, YES I DO.
I’ve drank that much coffee today I can hear my teeth. Short of a Red Bull enema or chewing on a tube of Berroca I’m not sure what else to do.
This tiredness has crept up on me like a thief at a cashpoint. Sleep is now just an old friend I’ve lost touch with, we used to be close but we’ve drifted apart these days. I still follow them on Twitter and they seem like they’re doing well but I’m not sure we’ll ever have what we used to have.
These days I spend more time peeling dried puke from my neck than with my eyes shut.
As I left the house this morning an elderly gentleman who lives on our street stopped me to ask what day it was. He seemed confused and embarrassed and my heart went out to him. Then I realized I didn’t have a clue myself.
I tried to stay confident and reassuring while my brain frantically searched for clues.
‘Ooh, hang on. I know this one. Shit. Monday? Have you not got any on sport?’
I came clean with him and told him we’d not long had twins and I was - for want of a better word - fucked.
It was odd to have a confused senior citizen who’s possibly suffering with the early stages of dementia take genuine pity on me with concern for my wellbeing. He suggested I get some sleep which is like turning up at a fire and recommending water. But he meant well and I hope he’s okay. I’ll keep an eye out for him from now on. I just hope he doesn’t ask me any difficult questions again.
Basic decisions elude me. I’ve spilled three drinks today. One was a milkshake all over my jeans. I’m living in a stain-rich environment at the moment but this one was considerably more dubious.
I was working in London two weeks ago appearing on my favourite radio show. Whenever I do this I’m normally excited ON the train but this time I was excited ABOUT the train journey – 2 hours and 21 minutes to sit with my eyes closed and my brain off. It turned out my seat was at a table, normally the holy grail of locomotive luxury but not for a desperate sleep-seeker like me. But the train was packed and needs must so I spent the whole journey slumping like the Greek economy all over the poor businessman who was crammed in next to me.
Very occasionally (every 5 minutes) I’d wake myself up when my snoring hit it’s rhythm but I’d just wipe the dribble from my chin and repeat the process. Now and again I’d open my eyes to see a lot of people looking at me with disapproving faces but I didn’t give two hoots. This was my time and I was gonna sleep.
Every night the loan sharks from the land of nod keep reminding me that I’m falling behind on my payments and they’ll be back tomorrow to break my kneecaps.
But until then, get me a triple espresso and a grab bag of Pro-Plus – I’ve got shit to do. Even if I can’t quite remember what it is or how to do it.
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