“Ahhh beddd,” said Alex, the banner at the top of the screen pulling my eyes away from the blog I’d been browsing.
She and I had enjoyed dinner together at a fancy burger place by my house, delicately stuffing our faces with gourmet mac ‘n’ cheese and ridiculously tall burgers. One trait I value highly in a friend is the ability to discuss pertinent recent events without sacrificing a crucial step in the bite-chew-swallow-breathe process. We’re busy hungry people, my friends and I, and we have to make the most of our time together.
Alex had apparently arrived home safely and gone straight to her bed; I could picture her collapsing onto the coverlet fully dressed, relishing the idea of imminent sleep. We’d responsibly decided against adding coffee or alcohol to the milkshake we’d shared for dessert – the marshmallow caramel cookie concoction containing nothing to hold off our oncoming food comas. Counting out cash, I had already been picturing the reunion my bed and I were to have upon my arrival home. Alex and I had parted ways in the parking lot, both eager to get home and sleep.
Alex lives an hour away as opposed to my ten minutes, and her text found me slumped on my couch, reading a blog post on a page I didn’t remember how I got to. Somehow an hour had passed and I hadn’t moved an inch. What happened to going right to bed? Wasn’t I exhausted? I closed my eyes for a moment. Yep, still exhausted. So what was I doing sitting on my couch? Puzzled, I relayed my inquiry to her. She suggested that maybe my body was already sleeping without me. Intrigued by the thought, I sent a command to my left foot, propped up and snoozing on the coffee table. It took longer than it should have for the foot to budge, and even then it was no more than the slightest of budges, the twitch of a toe. Indeed, my body had decided to go into sleep mode without my consent. The insolence!
Enraged, I wondered how long this mutiny had been going on, right under my nose. Last I knew, my body would wait up with me until the bitter end, only resting when my mind decided it was time. It used to be the two of us against the world, in it together, you and me babe. Apparently my body had figured out how to sneakily slip into sleep mode and leave my mind to whatever pointless processing attempts it wanted to make in the wee hours of the morning, and probably all through the day as well.
Tonight, so as not to be discovered sleeping on the job (or so I assumed), my body allowed me marginal digit usage, just enough to hold my phone, to tap and scroll. It let me use my eyes, figuring I would notice if those were nonfunctional. Clever. I’m on to you! I informed it.
Upon being found out, my body released my tired eyelids, allowing them a brief repose before my mind hoisted all of us up and ordered us into the kitchen; my legs aching and groaning every step of the way; my back stiff against the unwanted movement; my arms complaining about having to reach up and open the cabinet. We just need to get water and then we’re going right to bed, I assured them. They gave up their sullen resistance, hungry for sleep.
Oh, to be old, I thought as I filled up my Disney princess cup and dragged my sleepy body to bed.