We’re almost there! All ten things about me, revealed!
(You know, in hindsight the idea of me devoting 100 posts to “things about me” is fucking hilarious. It’s like a little kid trying to understand how many dollars “a billion” is. And then all of a sudden it clicks when someone says something like, “With one billion dollars, you could buy twenty candy bars every minute for the rest of your life and not run out of money,” and they get this glassed over look on their face and their mouth falls open in awe. That’s what I just did when I checked back to see what number I was up to and realized it was 8. So I think for everyone’s sake, we’ll cap this thing at 10.)
#8 I hardly ever sleep.
And not by choice. It’s not like I am up 1:00 in the morning unable to tear myself away from “The Late, Late” show. I’m not at Starbucks five minutes before closing finishing off my sixth Venti latte, lining up to squeeze in my seventh. In fact, in my efforts to get a good night’s sleep I have even gone so far as to cut caffeine out of my diet completely. (Somewhere, my sister is scoffing.)
I have tried everything short of injecting warm milk into my neck, yet still, come about 4:00 in the morning, my body rebels against quietude and I lie there, awake and alert, but playing that game with myself where I refuse to look at the clock and refuse to even open my eyes because, you know, maybe I’ll trick myself into thinking I was never really awake and just fall back to sleep. (That has about as much success as this).
When that doesn’t work, I revert to a game of reverse psychology wherein I play on my mind’s innate hatred of waking up. Because everyone knows that the only thing that cures sleeplessness is having to literally get out of bed, like when the alarm clock finally goes off three hours later, for example. So I say, almost out loud and in a voice commonly used in bad sitcoms to denote “I know someone is hiding in the closet but they don’t know I know they’re hiding in the closet so I’m going to speak in some obviously elevated tone so as not to arouse their suspicion, “Ooook. I guess I’m going to get up now. No sense lying here any longer, I’m obviously not falling back to sleep. Gonna go start my day. Maybe even go jogging.” Despite the strong psychoanalytical foundation for the methodology, this, as well, has a high rate of failure.
The only good thing that comes from being awake against my will between the hours of 4:00 and 6:00 is that I get a lot of thinking done. In fact, this may be the only reason I awaken in the first place, because my mind has so much thinking it needs to get done that the 16 conscious hours I provide myself on a daily basis aren’t enough; there are simply too many ponderous facets to the world for a mere 16 hours.
Such as what awoke me shortly after 4:00 this morning:
It began as me convincing myself that I could be a speechwriter, a notion produced by my bitter reading of an article on John McCain in Esquire earlier in the day. I imagined writing a speech for a truly independent candidate, him standing up in the crowd bemoaning the partisanship that has plagued politics, calling out the hijacking of the Republican party by the supposed ethicists of the religious right, and finally setting everyone straight on what America needs to survive. That got boring after about five minutes, so I started thinking about other things I find wrong with America, and almost immediately I came up with the seesaw.
Another little known fact about me (hell, let’s go ahead and make it #9 on the list): I’ve always been afraid of seesaws. I don’t know if it stems back to a singular incident from my childhood, but I have vague, wispy memories of sitting on this plank of wood, nary a handle in sight, and feeling as though I could shoot off into a nearby concrete pillar at any moment. No sooner did my feet touch the ground and I felt safe did I go springing off again into the atmosphere, always with some enormous child on the other end laughing away because he knew in his soul that it would take a hell of a lot more than my 45lb frame to send him flying from his perch.
The way I see it, the seesaw, like politics, can be viewed as a balancing force between differing people. Of course you can only view it as such if you are an ignorant lunatic, embroiled in an all out war with reason. The seesaw is a power struggle. It is the playground’s equivalent of “Who has the nicer car?” or “Who can take home the Asian girl first?” It is a structureless game, shrouded in the guise of “fun through the cooperation of effortless non-competitiveness.” Lies. I’ve never been on a seesaw with someone who didn’t want the end result of our “fun” to be me eating sand. And maybe that means I rode the seesaw with a bunch of assholes, but like most power struggles (rich vs. poor, man vs. beast) the antagonism is inherent. If it wasn’t, I would have set a 45lb. chunk of granite on the other end of the seesaw, or at least the girl who walked funny because she had a problem with her legs. But I didn’t – because the evil grip of the seesaw is innate, and overwhelming.
Which is why, I concluded around 5:30, if I were a politician, I would outlaw seesaws. And these people.