Friday, June 17, 2005

Why can't I install a cot in my cube?

During architecture school, insomnia was a bearable affliction to have. To a degree, it was even a desirable affliction- sometimes my designs would benefit from the trippy sense of detachment that several days’ worth of sleep deprivation inspired. My school schedule was such that I worked, for however many days necessary, until I finished the project. When the project was finished, I slept. In the interim, I could steal time and energy away from other pursuits to fuel my body’s need for sleep: dressing like a slouch, not fixing meals, not doing laundry. Falling asleep in class would do, in a pinch.

When working an 8-to-5 job, insomnia is not a bearable affliction. My schedule is the same all the time. I need sleep every day. There is no opportunity to catch up in 15-hour spurts like I used to- I’d have to take vacation or sick time for that now. “The project” is never finished once you begin working. I can’t wear pajama pants to work, I’m too old to subsist solely on turkey jerky and orange slurpees, and laundry must be done- for both myself and my husband. Falling asleep in a meeting is a definite way to get myself canned.

Before I became a cubicle drone, not being able to sleep didn’t bother me as much. I saw the insomnia as an opportunity. I could read, watch a movie, do any number of things in place of sleeping. Now, I know that I must sleep- or risk certain death from falling asleep on the Tollway during the morning commute. So I try. And try. I fail. I still try. I still fail. This is an all night endeavor; I usually get two hours of unconsciousness as a reward. Except for the nights that I don’t. Try as I might, my stupid body or brain or whatever is running The Freakshow That Is Me won’t let me sleep. I feel much like I did while in the depths of depression- unfocused, groggy, detached- except that, strangely, my mood is much better.

What I can’t figure out is what the hell triggered this? Was there some shift in the CAD Monkey Continuum? Did someone move my cubicle wall 3 inches? Has The Dog been playing subliminal messages in the middle of the night?

I guess I’m just screwed indefinitely.


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