Nocturnal No More

Sleep is overrated, or at least it used to be before I got old. And by “old” I’m using the term relatively, as in “older than I used to be.”

20 years ago my average bedtime was 1am and I was up at 5:30, just as vibrant as a newborn chick. 10 years ago I remember going to bed at 11pm like clockwork and getting up by 5:30. It was as easy as lemon meringue, a fitting routine — one I could handle. Even 5 years ago it wasn’t too difficult drifting off to sleep between 10:30 and 11 and waking up nice and toasty warm at 6am.

Last night I rumbled into bed at 12:10am after a very long day doing god knows what, and I felt exhausted down in the depths of my bones, a physical pull that dragged me down onto that bed. I was out in seconds with the alarm firmly set for 6:30 this morning. 6:30 came and went without fanfare, just me punching the button on the alarm clock, rolling back over, and hoping the buzzing in my head would go away.

That buzzing in my head was my body saying, “I’m too old for this shit.” I can’t stay up the way I used to with no adverse effects, not anymore. The creaking of my bones, the fuzzy nature of my morning brain, it is all testament to the passage of time and to my passivity thereby.

If I were to take a morning photograph of myself in this fugue state I would probably frighten myself. I wonder if this is what most college students go through after a night of insane partying. And I can get that feeling just by going to bed a little later than normal. Score one for age. So, the bottom line is that I shouldn’t really stay up after 11 at night anymore or I’m likely to turn back into a pumpkin.

Tell my mind that, you know, the next time I somehow forget, because my body won’t forget anytime soon that I’m nocturnal no more.

Sam

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