…like an insomniac awoken.
Dear friends, family and other assorted nincompoops who call me past 10:00 p.m.,
I love you all, dearly, and I would lay down my life for you (not you, assorted nincompoops) in a hot second, but seriously, WTF? Why do all of you persist in calling me only after 10:00 p.m.? Why is the thought of conversing with me appealing only AFTER the clock strikes 10? Do I sound better when I’m groggy with sleep? Does the disorientation in my voice make me more endearing? What is it? WhatwhatWHAT??
I don’t know if you know this about me, but roundabout in 2004, my one-time-good-buddy Morpheus deserted me big time. We were close once, yes, but our 14-hour long trysts are now a thing of the happy somnific past. Dude has walked and left me a raving insomniac. Which means sleep now is something that happens infrequently and with great difficulty.
Where earlier my bedtime was a simple two-step process:
1. Place head on pillow
2. Crash into deep, Kumbhakarna-like slumber from which the devil and his horses cannot rouse me.
Now, it is the following:
1. Place head on pillow
2. Shift pillow around, punch it into shape, shift it around some more
3. Kick off bedclothes, then pull them on, then kick them off again. (repeat one hundred times)
4. Clamber out of bed, adjust fan speed, climb back into bed. Climb out again, adjust fan speed again. (Repeat three times)
5. Toss, turn, toss, turn, toss, turn (repeat till you have pretty much butter-churned yourself into exhaustion and fitful sleep).
And when finally, finally I get to the point where I’m about to drop of the precipice of consciousness and float down on a fluffy cloud of sleep, one of you calls me, the shrill ring cruelly jerking me back to that state where I will have to go through steps 1 to 5 ALL. OVER. AGAIN.
Why folks? What the hell have I ever done to you?
You just called to wish me a happy birthday? Well, that is thoughtful of you, and now I feel like a bitch for telling you this, but this how happy you’ve made me.
CS: Slowly, after many hours of tossing and turning, drifts off to sleep.
Phone: TRRIINNGG!! TRIINNGGGG!! TRIINNNGGG!!!
CS: Shoots out of bed, wild-eyed, crazy haired and disoriented as fuck.
“What the…?! Who the @#$%^&* is calling me at this time of night?! Bloody @@#$%!! Couldn’t it have waited until @#$% morning??“
So yes, happy? I DON’T THINK SO.
See the thing is, I’m not anal about the dates. You can wish me happy a YEAR after the event and I won’t hold it against you. I know remembering dates can be a pain and I forget them myself very frequently (which might explain also why I’m so willing to forgive, but that’s neither here nor there). Birthdays, anniversaries, New Years, Christmas, Diwali, dude, they are all just dates. They do NOT matter. What does matter is being able to have a decent, non-groggy, non-murderous conversation with you under circumstances that we are BOTH comfortable with. Have I ever called you post 10:00 p.m.? Is it ever MY phone calls that rouse you out of bed on sleepy Sundays? No, right? Then why, why this sadistic urge to yank me from my hard-earned sleep and as a consequence, ensure that I spend the next day walking around like bear with a sore head?? WhywhyWHY??
I understand that some of you live in different time zones which somehow make you forget that your afternoon is my midnight, but it’s not that hard to do, really! So here’s the deal. The next time you’re taken by the urge to hear the melodious sound of my voice, take a moment and think it through. Then stop and think again. Also, for your convenience, I have made out a little checklist of circumstances under which you can and cannot call me after 10:00 p.m.
1. You are dead. Or very close to it. Or someone in our immediate family is in grievous danger. (Yes, call. No, second cousin twice removed does NOT count)
2. There is a terrorist attack in a random part of the world that I have no connection with and more importantly, cannot do anything about. (No. It can jolly well wait till morning)
3. It is my birthday / anniversary / random festival (No. Remember morning? Yeah, WAIT FOR IT).
4. You want to hear the melodious sound of my voice. (No. Call me post 10 and what you get to hear will be nothing even remotely melodious. Trust me on that)
5. There have been blasts close to where I live and you’re worried about me. (No. Unless you hear of blasts specifically inside *my* building. Trust me, I’ll be home safe. If I’m not, I’LL call YOU and tell you so.)
And now that we're clear on that, I would like you to know that if any of you now call me post-10:00 p.m., I am striking you vehemently off my will...vehemently!
With all my love (except to the nincompoops),