*Note: I am only writing this because I am not capable of writing about SCIENCE (as I intended to) at the moment . . . this too shall pass*
So I am having a Jonah week. However, I’m not really sure it that actually applies to the descriptor of my week since Jonah sort of had it coming if you read the actual literature, and I really didn’t; further, I just got to watch a glorious sunset. So maybe this is a week of Job (but I still get the sunset).
There are parts that are rough like car breaking down on a harrowing offramp of I-8 (in California we label highways with articles like the French: The 8, The 5. The 1. The 101. But apparently, the rest of the country doesn’t get that nomenclature. Hence: I-8. Except the roadside assistance lady didn’t even get that nomenclature and spent 20 minutes telling me that I-8 doesn’t exist in San Diego while I begged her to please please please just call a tow truck to remove me from a hazardous situation). And then like said car being repaired to the tune of almost $1,000. Or like my garage door being broken so I can’t access any of the wine that I store in there, so I bought a (relatively expensive) bottle for tonight and it is skunked, so now I am drinking skunked wine accompanied by popcorn I accidentally popped in oil that I had previously fried fish in. You’d be surprised what garlic salt will hide. Maybe I should put some in the wine.
[Stop laughing . . . THIS IS MY LIFE PEOPLE. I WILL end a sentence with a preposition . . . even if I can’t sustain caps in an aside.]
[and now I have the urge to highlight the sentence I ended with a preposition just so you’ll understand that last aside.]
But I digress. All those above rough parts aren’t the point of this post.
Let’s start with: I don’t sleep. And I write about that problem so often it’s quite boring. When I tell people that I don’t sleep, they respond with “oh me too, I haven’t slept in two days.” Ummm . . . try seven days. And then you get a night of good sleep and you are reset to “functioning normal.” For me, not sleeping sucks, but it doesn’t get bad unless I don’t get that reset somewhere between days seven and ten. When it hits day 14, I start to get nervous and a bit crazy. When it hits day 21, I am full on psycho.
This batch went to day 28 (or as some call it in Hollywood: 28 Days Later). I was desperate. I hadn’t been able to work in a week and was quickly losing all semblance of being human. So I did the right thing: I went to the doctor and got a prescription for Ambien.
That night, I couldn’t wait for bed time. Unfortunately, about a month ago, I had committed to having some friends over, so I tried to subtly wait for them to leave so that I could pop a pill and sleep.
I am homeschooled.
I am not subtle.
Finally, they all said their goodbyes with heartfelt well-wishes for my good night’s rest (see? I am not subtle). And I did the final close-up of the house in preparation for my first night on Ambien. I made sure the doors were locked and double locked, I hid my car keys, I tucked my small child into his bed. I wanted to make sure that if I were one of those Ambien walkers (not an unreasonable fear: I once moved my car in my sleep), that I would not endanger myself or my son.
My final stop was in the bathroom that is in the back of my house. As I prepared for the sweet oblivion of sleep, I heard footsteps that sounded uncannily close to my window. “Wow, I can really hear the neighbors.” I thought, blithely continuing in my evening ablutions. Then I hear this unknown person in my backyard turn on my hose directly under my bathroom window.
I froze. Did this person know I was RIGHT THERE? As silently as I could, I left the bathroom and turned on the side porch light. But by that time, I couldn’t see the person anymore.
What do you do in that situation? I deliberated for a few minutes, clutching my heavy-weight flashlight like a cudgel which I would flash its magnificent beam periodically through my blinds (Ah Ha! I caught you!), pausing my pacing from window to window every few moments to tenderly touch the forehead of my sleeping son.
[sleep I was yet again denied!]
After about 15 minutes, I called my friends:
“I think there was someone in my backyard.”
“What! Call the cops!”
I called the cops. It must have been a slow night in my neighborhood because they sent no less than three cars which included a K-9 unit. The cops surveyed the perimeter of my house and declared it safe. “Probably a vagrant who was thirsty, Ma’am” was the final verdict. (I thought: “Do they still call homeless people ‘vagrants’?”). And with that, the cops left.
I sat in my bed deliberating whether I should still take an Ambien. I wanted to sleep. But I wanted to be capable of responding to any potential intruders as well.
I didn’t take the Ambien. And I didn’t sleep. And there were no further intruders for the next six days. So I eventually, got more comfortable in my home after dark, took an herbal sleep supplement after Ambien failed (turns out I am one of the few who don’t fall asleep to Ambien), finally slept a few nights, and spent my social time regaling my friends with my “intruder in the back yard who used my hose” story.
It’s an awesome story. Until you are telling it to an enthralled group of people and one of your friends turns to you and says, “That was me. I was in your backyard.”
No, no. That was a creepy stranger. Not a friend who should inform me when they are randomly coming into my backyard at night to use my hose BECAUSE THEY HAVE MY PHONE NUMBER.
“No, it was me. Remember, my coolant had leaked out of my car? I used your hose to get some water for my car. I didn’t text you because I didn’t want to freak you out. I wanted you to sleep.”
And you just stole my drama/danger thunder.