May 17, 2000
Insomnia and Excrement


It was 2:30 a.m. when he crawled out of bed this morning.

I could hear him prowling around in the kitchen -- running water, opening and closing the refrigerator, fiddling around in the cupboards -- followed by the squeak of chair springs as he finally settled down in front of the computer. I drifted back to sleep to the sound of breakneck typing.

David's insomnia is back ... with a vengeance.

This time, though, I don't think his sleep problems are strictly recovery-related, the way they were when we first set up castle-keeping ... or sleep-apnea-related, or caffeine-intake-related, or AOL-related, or even *we-need-to-start-exercising and-lay-off-the-coconut-meringue-pie*-related. This time around, it seems to be mostly work-related.

And boy ... can I relate.

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I admit it.  I get so wrapped up in changing those poopy corporate diapers at the TP Company, each and every day, that I sometimes lose sight of the fact that David has his own share of work-related excrement, clinging to the soles of his wingtips when we come home at night.  What can I tell you? He's much better at wiping the shidt off his shoes than I am: I bring it home with me and track it all over The Castle.

Here's the scoop ... as he would say:

His department at The Tribune is undergoing massive "restructuring" at the moment. Two women he'd worked with for years (and with whom he'd created a bond of loyalty and teamwork) were essentially booted out the door. New people are being brought in. New procedures are being put into place. David has very little say in any of it, of course ... and until they work the bugs out of the new system, he is basically doing the work of three or four people put together.

He doesn't complain about it. Much. The most he ever says is "I'm frazzled" at the end of another eleven-hour day. He insists that his job is not in jeopardy  --  and that even if it was, that would merely be a reason for him to step up to something *better.*

In other words: he's putting his usual optimistic Ю僱êrvØ¡ spin on the situation. It just makes you want to slap the guy, doesn't it?

The problem here  --  besides the fact that I love him, and that my heart aches for him when I hear him wandering around the apartment in the middle of the night, and that I'm worried about him ... and that I miss his big warm body squished against my little cold feet, when he's away from our bed ... is that I don't know how to help him through this. The mom in my soul wants to make him some warm Nestlé's Quik, snuggle him in a big soft blanky and read him a bedtime story. The Executive Ass in my soul wants to march over to The Tribune offices and kick some *restructured* Sales Department managerial butt.

(The girlfriend in my soul wants a promotion from *girlfriend* to a title with slightly more prestige. But that's another story for another day.)

Short of continuing to gently urge him into bed at a reasonable hour every evening, though  ...  prompting him to talk about what's on his mind, instead of allowing him to put on his Big Happy Face around his family and me  ...  listening uncomplainingly when he lays in bed with his guitar and plays the intro to "Shake Some Action" 43,897,621 times in a row, because I know it's his favorite way of blowing off steam ...

... reminding him about the big bottle of Valerian Root, sitting on the headboard above our bed ("I don't like to take pills," he says) ...

... I'm not sure what else I can do.

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In the meantime  --  speaking of corporate poop  --  Franz isn't speaking to me today. (Which is an amazing coincidence, since I'm not speaking to him, either!)
I may not have officially been in trouble for leaving the office ten minutes early the other night  --  the night he pulled his Magic Disappearing Boss routine  --  but, as always, he's finding subtle ways of making me *pay* for my unthinkable transgression.  

Like dumping ten days' worth of voicemail messages into my box this morning, with a terse request that I "type up" each and every one of them. (Even the painfully dull messages from Mr. "Why Say Ten Words, When Forty Three Million, Eight Hundred Ninety-Seven Thousand, Six Hundred and Twenty-One Will Do?" in Business Development.)

Like refusing to sign any of the Super-Critical-Mega-Urgent drafts I left for him on his chair.  (Next week, when they're overdue and people are screaming, he'll tell me he "didn't see them.")

Like emptying the contents of his briefcase onto his desktop ... and leaving it there in a big pile for *me* to deal with.

And like talking to everybody around me, behind me, next to me, in front of me ... but not to me, directly. ("You'll need to ask Secra where she filed it. I can't find anything in my office anymore.")

Jesus H. Christ on a jungle gym. Who needs time-regression hypnotherapy? All I have to do is come to work and  --  vóila!  --  I'm in kindergarten, all over again.

one year ago

throw a rock