When I was little, I used to think that I was missing out on something when I went to bed. That once I shut my tiny eyes and made my world dim to black, the adults opened theirs and turned on the soft serve ice cream machines that I knew they all secretly had.
Now that’s an adult!
Not much has changed. I’m still convinced that I haven’t reached adulthood yet, based solely on the fact that I haven’t been eating chocolate-vanilla swirl cones for dinner. And I still don’t sleep. In the comedy world, no one can escape becoming nocturnal - hell, I just did an improv audition at sunset* and even a slightly light evening sky seemed strange.
But my youthful defiance of sleep has evolved into an unrequited love affair. Like the classic arc of a super sexist romance novel: I’m a resistant damsel whose defences Sleep tries to strip like so many heaving bodices. Except Sleep was never a scowling brute with a secretly soft heart. Sleep has always been kind and more or less transparent. It never tried to brood its way into my heart or tear me away from my family and essentially kidnap me until I got stockholm syndrome - as you might tell, I have some issues with Beauty and The Beast.
Sleep is not sitting in its pristine, velvet-draped quarters, waiting for me to realize what he’s been using to justify his Victorian lady-bashing: that I’ve secretly wanted it all along. No, Sleep is rubbing its altruism and purity in my face all the time, reminding me of how inherently healthy it is, how much better I feel about my self when I have it, how it will never give me up, how it will never let me down, how it will never run around or desert me.**
My relationship with Sleep is caught in a bipolar cycle of pursuit and denial - and not because it is a pirate or a beast that hides in the woods and scares my kin. I have no reason to fear it because it has never given me reason. And yet I scorn Sleep, turning to Redbull*** and coffee, and hoping that tonight I’ll have the courage to embrace it at last.
Last night all of that changed. This tale as old as time is actually about 20 years old and has finally reached its denouement. Thanks, Neocitran!
*Not on a cliff overlooking a romantic landscape, but at a bar in Parkdale. Just as scenic, really.
** Do you actually need a citation for this? Get off the internet.
*** Is Redbull Gastón at this point? 1991 was a while ago and I’ve lost track of my metaphors…