Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Hell hath no fury…

…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.
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??

*sobs brokenly*

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),



Prakriti said...

You know. There is a silent feature on most cellphones. It is like training a dog. Don't pick a call after 10. Pick up calls all other times. People get it after a while.

Chronicus Skepticus said...

Prakriti: Yes I know, but my only worry is that in the off-chance of a *genuine* emergency, people might not be able to get in touch with me.

But yes, I think I shall try out your method. What've I got to lose?

P.S. I want an email ID. That is to say, yours.

??! said...

You have a will? Wow.

Chronicus Skepticus said...

??!: well, you know...the who-should-I-leave-my-Prachetts-to type stuff.

Not money or anything*!

*We are poor journalist-type people. We get peanuts-in-a-paper cone at the end of every month.

rossoneri said...

hahah!!! nice...but who sleeps at 10?

DewdropDream said...

Oh yeah the silent feature. And the volume control on the phone's ringer :D

I had a few instances of people trying to reach me at godawfully early hours (even tried to break the door down thinking I was in danger coz I wouldn't answer. wtf wonly!). I resolutely refused to answer and called back when I was awake. Worked beautifully :D

J. Alfred Prufrock said...

We hear you.
What do you do about drunk-texters?


The Footloose Doll said...

Some months back, my mother saw me talking on the phone at midnight (not for the first time though). And since then, there's this rule that I keep my mobile in *her* room at 10 pm. Sharp.

*inhales deeply, gathers strength to continue with the comment*

So you know, now I lie in the bed at night and think of all the people who *might* be calling me at that *exact* moment.

I clearly don't have a life.

Chronicus Skepticus said...

Rossoneri: Ummm...people who wake up at half-five so that they can go to the gym and work off *years* of er... let's just call it excessive curvaceousness, that's who!

Alternatively, those who sleep at 10 are those who have to start *trying* to sleep at 10 in the hope that if at nothing else, the gods of sleep will be generous with those who made an effort.

JAP: Tough one, that. I'd say if the text is interesting enough, you post about it, and just let the texter squirm themselves into never sending another.

Think that'll work? I do. :D

The Footloose Doll: Hello, you're new here.
Ouch, ouch, ouch. I think your mother and mine may just be cosmic twins.

I feel you, sistah!

Rada said...

CS: I have the same problem as you have: Steps 1 to 5 etc...

Normally, when the problem becomes acute, I down couple of stiff ones...

Always helps!

Banno said...

I promise never, never to call. Does that make me eligible to be included in your will? Specially since I have insomnia as well, and hate people who call after 9 as much.

Straight Curves said...

Hoo Boy! You *are* turning into one crabby old lady! :P

Chronicus Skepticus said...

Rada: Now there's a happy solution!

I shall do exactly as you say...exactly! :D

Banno: A fellow insomniac. Of *course* you can be included in my will! Absolutely! (Er...I *have* mentioned there's no money involved, right?)

BTW, I love your blog title. Love it.

Smee: I have, haven't I? :( Gosh, I'm soon going to be one of those crones who glare at happy people and mumble to themselves.

Ah well, crone-hood, here I come!