Friday, August 17, 2007

Musing on Sleep

As reflected in a recent post, sleep is not an easy nor particularly restful thing for me. It is true that the truly deep exhaustion I felt last year around this time is not as present. As I am about to head to Dance New England, I hope that bone tired feeling stays at bay.

I have a tendency to have vivid and numerous dreams which leave me feeling as drained upon waking as I did when I slipped underneath the covers and sidled up to TGF. It is hard for me to remember when I last slept hard enough for days in a row that I do not remember waking up, albeit briefly, at least 3 times a night which is more the norm. Further complicating "restorative sleep" as Lindsay likes to call it in those damn commercials is the fact that a selection of cats like to cuddle up to me. Often I have Atticus followed by Gemma sleeping between my legs and the other hunkered against my butt or calves.

When the recent stress is figured in, it's rather amazing I am functional at all. Keeping all of this in mind, I wondered if I had lost my mind when I booked a red eye flight to the east coast. I spent days telling myself if I can sleep on the plane all will be good. However that was a silly thing since I absolutely cannot sleep well in a moving vehicle, especially if I am not horizontal. Clearly this was another matter of deluding myself "for the greater good" and hoping that I could trick myself into something that is against my nature.

The odds were against me. Only if I can the three seats across so I can curl up (this is where being short comes in handy) do I really sleep anything like soundly on a plane. The seat I had about 24 hours ago was on the aisle of the center 3 seats next to a man who was wearing so much cheap cologne I had a headache which came and went for two hours. Then there were all the chatter in my head: the things I had forgotten to bring; worry over the move; could I find a cheap air mattress since I decided not bring mine; would Adrienne have a sleep bag I could borrow; what the hell was Adrienne's new address anyways; and so on ad infinitum. In an attempt to get some napping in I used the strategy TGF employs regularly - the droning sound of the television. I snagged the headphones and plugged into some movie with Richard Gere about a scam job involving a book about Howard Hughes.

I reflected again how a friend is still peeved about a now ex-lover who wanted to sleep all night long in each other's arms. It surely is an overly romantic vision of love but also a terrible thing to demand of someone when it means they will sleep horribly. Personally I might have strangled the person for suggesting it as a real versus in a "wouldn't it be kinda fun to do that thing they show in the movies but never really happens" way. Not only can I not deeply fall asleep in any position remotely like sitting up, but I cannot if I am in someone's arms, or even facing them! Actually it goes deeper than that - I have turn away completely, I can't even face their back. Eventually, without fail I have to face "out", away from my lover. It is like an intrinsic escape plan sort of response that has been with me for as long as I can remember. Even when sleeping alone I face out. Except for that one apartment where the long side of the bed was against exposed brick and I loved the feel of the brick against my bare feet as I slept positioned much like a right angle bracket for a shelf.

Some people can sleep anywhere and feel rested. Some can "cat" nap easily, almost like hypnotizing themselves and sleep for some predetermined time. Many days I envy those people. But I never envy those who think sleeping in their lover's arms all night is love personified.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Is this what a hangover feels like?

It was a terrible night for me. Three bad dreams in one night, seriously! I woke up totally raggedy, hazy, and thought, I think this must be what a hangover feel like. No, I have never been hung over. And no I am not a tea totaler. I have drunk a fair amount in my past, a much bigger drinker in my youth than these days. Now it takes some time to get my tolerance up but it's not something I strive to do. Really I have never woken up feeling like the lights are too bright, every noise is too loud and dog assed tired after drinking. Perhaps after some other, ahem, interesting nights but not because I drank a lot.

The dreams faded one by one in terms of clarity. By the time I finally dragged myself out of bed after dream three and proceeded to make coffee, quite clumsily I might add, the images faded. The details, the actual quotes blew away like the seeds from dandelions in a wind storm. It reminded of when Piper goes "orbing" but stumbles once returning the "real" world, to recall anything about it.

The first dream was kind of like fun and bizarre Fellini ride with two odd, sort of homeless like men attaching themselves to TGF and I. We wandered around and I know there were interesting conversations that occured. But suddenly it all went very badly. I was experiencing a total mental breakdown. Going crazy was a physical as well as psychological experience in the dream. It was a weird awareness of knowing I was totally losing control. It was very unpleasant.

Next up was an odd phone call with my brother. I haven't actually spoken to my brother in years. No real reason, he just isn't very social and a workaholic who makes a fortune. There is eleven years between us and he has a twin sister who he gets all his sibling needs met through. My sister and I do stay in intermittent contact. Anyway, he has been on my mind because we are considering asking him to be an investor in our our first house flip. In the dream he alternated between friendly and a bit suspicious - even asking me if I had an ulterior motive for calling. In addition there were times it seemed like he left the phone putting our sister and then our father on. Very weird.

The last dream was like a really, REALLY dark episode of Charmed, complete with an evil spirit taking over a character who might have been a bride. The bride character was a cross between Piper and my dear, dear friend Abby. I was trying stave off chaos, discovery of a dead body and saving the bride. The finale was me trying everything I could think of to reawaken the good spirit in the bride to save her and everyone from impending doom. In involved a spell (go figure) that used the word Maderia, or Medera? Not sure but I think if was supposed to be the name of a woman. Oh yeah and there was a black lacy veil which I danced with when everything was righted.

One of these days i might get a restful night of sleep. It's something I get about every 3-8 days. The rest of the time I wake a lot, have too many dreams to feel rested, or something. Like waking up at 6am after falling asleep after 1am - that was the other day, maybe Saturday. Yeah Saturday I got up and worked. Sent 30 work emails by the time TGF got up. Those commercials with Abraham Lincoln and the beaver really touch a nerve, let me tell you.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Another layer of reality

Last Sunday TGF and I went through every room (although we very briefly tackled the garage - yeech is that a mess and maze) verbally saying what would stay here and what would go with us.

Later, I took pictures of my beautiful desk and the bedroom set that we had decided to sell. I had gone back and forth about the desk be
cause I really love it but it's big and very heavy. It was purchased from Fenton MacLauren on College Avenue in Oakland a few years ago. It is my second largest purchase (aside my house) ever. Originally it was about $900 but like cars most things depreciate as soon as they leave the showroom. Truthfully it was still in very good shape amazingly enough given that TGF would occasionally fed Gracie on it {ahem!}.

Apparently others agreed with me because I received a number of responses to my craigslist ad.

Nice huh? I included other shots of it but I don't want to bore, or tempt, anyone. One really nice guy showed up Wednesday night to see it but he had a valid concern about the pull out keyboard top - not a lot of room for keyboard and mouse because of the really lovely drawer. I got it to work for me but with the wireless keyboard TGF set up it was really tight. He was clearly torn because he appreciated the beauty of the piece. Oh well. At least I got a real bite, right?

Then Thursday night a couple came to look it. They hadn't found a bank on the way over so wanted to know if they should find a bank first. I laughed and said, "How about you see it because no point if you don't want it". But apparently they did because they left to find a bank. When it took some time I thought perhaps they changed their mind and again I thought well I have another person scheduled to see it in the morning. Then there was a knock at the door. Cold harsh cash! My asking price and everything.

Well today was the scheduled move so immediately upon rising I headed upstairs to empty the desk. The reality gathered, hanging like fog from the ceiling as I took out my origami cranes that Carolyn sends every year with her camp registration. Moving from Massachusetts to two different locations in California I still have most of these miniature cranes. This year she used the camp flyer and made one large with two tiny ones for my collection. As I pulled out my rubber stamps and old memo books, all Dance Camp supplies, out the fog settle lower. Collecting the files out of the drawer, unplugging the printer, the mist started hitting my face.

It's all getting faster and faster, and we both have procrastinating tendencies and up heaving our lives is certainly something one would like to avoid. However the desk is now gone so one step closer. Next Saturday is supposed to be our tag sale though I am wondering how we are going to pull it together. My flight to the east coast is late evening on the 16th (yes a red eye, sigh, but that gives me Friday in my old hometown). My return home is on Tuesday, September 4th. Our house cooling party is on the 8th - by the way, if you haven't received an invite, email me. I really tried to hit everyone. We haven't picked a take off day and we haven't lined up a moving company but we really need to soon. All of the above is only part of the massive to do list facing us.

The sadness that washed over me during the final stages of clearing out the desk. I took a few breaks during that simple task because it was emotionally challenging. Of course part of it was selling the desk truly is a sacrifice because it's a beautiful piece and I really loved it. Deeper is the tangible quality that empty space in my office represents. An empty space to be filled with boxes, our live compartmentalized for moving most of the way across the country. We don't know where we are moving to because we haven't found an investor for the property we have picked out. It's all this blank space in front of me. Some days it feels daunting, others exciting.