|April 17, 2000
Have You Ever Seen A Zombie Come To Tea?
Back in the Long Ago and Far Away of 1988 -- when life was both simpler and more complicated -- Daughter #2 and her best friend, Tracy, came home from kindergarten and sang a song their beloved Mr. Gallagher had taught them that day:
Have you ever seen a zombie come to tea?
They then launched into this bizarre dance routine ... arms stretched straight out in front of them, eyes bulging, legs rigid as tent poles ... twirling around and around in jerky, epileptic circles. I'll never forget the sight of those two little girls, in their pigtails and their Strawberry Shortcake sweatshirts, earnestly spinning around my kitchen doing the "Zombie Dance." And I've never forgotten that goofball song. This morning it is looping through my head like a Volkswagen jingle.
It is my theme song today.
I slept maybe fifteen minutes altogether. (Nineteen, if you count that four-minute nap in the shower this morning.) David dropped right off last night, halfway through 'The X-Files.' "I'm just gonna close my eyes for a minute," he mumbled ... and then he was gone. We usually manage to achieve *simultaneous slumber* most nights, or else I drift off before he does. But not last night. Last night I enviously watched him slide off into blissful unconsciousness, and I knew that I was in for a long, solitary Insomnia Night.
I watched TV with the sound off for a little while. I read part of my book. I listened to the rain outside our bedroom window. I experimented with different pillow/blanket *configurations.* I watched David sleep. (He does this adorable little puckery thing with his lips when he's sleeping: it makes him look like a blowfish. If my scanner wasn't broken, I would scan a Polaroid for you.) I listened to Upstairs Neighbor Guy practice his Irish Step Dancing. I stuck a Melatonin tablet under my tongue. I cracked open a window. I counted sheep.
Nothing seemed to help.
When it became clear that I was not, in fact, going to fall asleep any time soon (read this: before Sunday officially morphed into Monday), I broke down and did something I haven't done since the old Tree House days: I crawled out of bed, tiptoed out to the kitchen ...
... and went online.
It felt vaguely naughty. Like I was doing something *forbidden,* and any minute my ex-husband was going to sneak up behind me and catch me talking about pubic hair in the Baby Boomer Chat Room. Old paranoias die hard.
But after a few minutes of quietly puttering around on the Internet -- reading my e-mail (currently running 4 to 1 in favor of me mailing that resume/spitting in Franz' coffee) ... checking my stoopid hit counter (still broken) ... checking my bank balance (still solvent: whew) ... cruising through the message boards ( they're talking about limited edition collectors plates now!) ... I started feeling a little more relaxed.
Not sleepy, mind you. But relaxed. Like some of the edge was finally wearing off.
And after another goddamned weekend of headaches and *fingernail sandwiches* and jumping out of my skin every time I hear a Germanic accent in a grocery store ... "relaxed" was a nice change of pace.
It was 12:30 a.m. when I crawled back into bed, pleasantly buzzed from Amy's e-mail, comforted, reassured, ego nicely stroked ...
... but still wide awake.I drifted off for five minutes here, ten minutes there ... snatching occasional little pockets of snooze time. But nothing substantial. No REM sleep.
(Although, under the circumstances, that might have been a blessing in disguise. I'm still recovering from the Franz-*Playing-Yahtzee* Dream. Yeesh.)
The good news -- if there is anything "good" about laying awake all night -- is that I didn't come unglued about it. Insomnia is such a rare occurrence anymore ... my sleep patterns, now that I'm midway through my second year of sobriety, are becoming so regular ... that the occasional sleepless night isn't going to wig me out.
When 5 a.m. finally rolled around, I said "fine" and rolled out of bed. I figured I'll catch up tonight. Or the next night. Or the night-after-next. (Or in my next lifetime, maybe. You know: the lifetime where I find myself working at a job I like, making decent money doing stuff I love, for a boss I admire and respect? a boss who doesn't treat me like a $4.98 True Value doormat? THAT next lifetime.)
In the meantime ... have you ever seen a zombie come to tea?
Well, take a look at me. A zombie you will see.
I just listened to the same voicemail message, from Maureen in our LA office, for the eighth time in a row: I still have no clue what she's talking about. I left my stapler in the lunchroom a little while ago ... right next to the microwave. Apparently I've been walking around with a Post-It note stuck to the butt of my skirt all morning.
I forgot to brush my teeth this morning, before I left The Castle.
I'm a mess.
But you know what? I don't care. Because ... drumroll, please ... I mailed that resume this morning. (AND I sent another one off to the Alameda company: the company my *FootNotes* reader works for.) So instead of simply whining and complaining about how much I hate my job, and how icky Franz is, and how desperate I am to find something better-suited to my talents/experience/caffeine preferences/very special emotional needs ... I'm finally gonna DO something about it.
Am I a zombie? Yeah, maybe. Temporarily. A decent night's sleep -- and a little Aqua Fresh -- will fix that.
But a doormat?
What do you think?
kate ["run! run!"] and brucie ["... this Franz guy is really getting on my nerves ... What is his function ... I mean, does he ever do any work?"] and everyone else who has written. you've made me laugh. you've made me feel better. and -- in the case of my new pal amy -- you've pretty much written today's journal entry for me. thanks.
where i'll ask a *relevant* question:
amazingly profound thought of the day: "I am an insomniac agnostic egotist. I lie awake at nights, wondering whether I believe that I am as great as I think I am."