Thursday, November 8, 2007

I'm apparently an employed hobo.

So, I have a problem with going to sleep on time.

When I was a kid, I could never nap. Didn't want to sleep, couldn't do it if I needed to. In nursery school we were forced to nap for a certain period of time every day, and I remember lying wide awake on a sleeping bag with large, cartoonish comical numbers in a staid but bright array of colors and waiting for the lights to come back on... it wasn't for me.

Even in college, I couldn't nap like normal people, and would just lie down in the daytime with the mythical concept of napping to guide me and would wake up five hours later, having missed a series of commitments.

Steve Fossett* taught me better. (See subsequent comment re Wikipedia... respect your dead betters who happen to be insane wealthy balloonists). I wish I could get a two minute nap whenever I wanted. The modern workplace doesn't respect a need for a miserable cubicle slave to have a quiet place to put our over- or underpaid heads down and pretend to check out for two minutes.

I've got a bit of an insomia issue, which is tired and seems universal for all I know. No one I know personally has ever said to me that they get enough sleep, and I just sort of assume that a degree of sleep deprivation is an aspect of all of our own self-induced Kolyma's (wikipedia is your friend... and yes, that was a COMPLETELY inappropriate parallel, and if you weren't offended, well, you just don't know what that actually meant.)

However, I've spent a period of time of being so desparate for a nap during the daytime that I can't even describe. If I lived in Tokyo, I would spend every lunch break (which I actually don't take, realistically) in a tube hotel, and I envy every salaryman for that weird, sick, perverse, heavenly luxury. However, living in New York, I have now twice in one week crafted errands to run which put me on the subway to take care of business at lunchtime, in no small part because I have a great pleasure that comes from napping on the train.

I sleep (sort of) on the subway on the way to work every morning, and have nowhere to close my eyes during the day in my much deprived state. So... getting on the train to go "take care of something" was kind of an artifice to sleep on the subway.

I mentioned this when I got home, and Tigger said to me: "So, you are actually a hobo?"


That pretty much sums it up. I've tried empty conference rooms, but they make me tense. I've tried bathrooms, but (ladies, FYI, dudes crap in public bathrooms, while you guys apparently don't do the same thing) it smells in a manner which is hard to describe without speaking of rotting monkey carcasses, and I've tried leaning against elevator walls... but the subway on a lunchtime "taking care of business" moment was the most satisfying.

I'd like to thank the Lexington Avenue local for a good, solid twenty minutes of rest in the middle of the day. Really, deeply, I am very grateful.

I'd also like to thank the guy at the sandwich shop on Park Row (where I got out to rub the pseudo-sleep from my eyes and go to J & R Music World (thanks for the artifice for the hobo nap)) for actually taking off the rubber glove when he took my money and gave me my change. It's really inspiring to see that there's a commitment to the non-spreading of multi-antibiotic resistant bacteria.


I had a moment, stepping outside of work to go have a cigarette. We used to be able to stand in front of the doors, out of peoples' way(s) until recently, and now have to maneuver around some obstacles that I can't really describe to get enough out of the path of good non-evil smoking citizens to indulge in my "twice in the work day" habit.

I sat down on the Homeless Guy Bench Number 3, and felt my shoe slip on something viscous on the ground.

It is a mark of life in New York that I looked down and thought "Damn, it's a loogie" and was actually RELIEVED that it was bird shit.

It may have SARS in it, but thank GOD it wasn't someone's expectoration. It somehow felt more comfortable to me, and it took the arm's length search for white high-contrast swirls in the potential loogie to release me from worry.

Funny how those little things perversely make us seem relieved.

*Still officially just missing. I hope they find the guy... I had a lot of respect for his kind of crazy. If they find him dead, or if they never find him, I wish Mr. Fossett godspeed and good jetstream winds in the afterlife.**

**I don't believe in an afterlife, but it would be nice to think it was out there, wouldn't it? ...(to all my agnostics and atheists... do you sometimes just envy the faithful for the concept of a justice-leveling payoff at the end? Yeah, me too.)***

***Yeah, I know the grammar was spotty on that one, but a double asterisk, parenthetic comment after a question is something that I didn't have time to look up in the manual of style. Sorry. I also know "you" don't exist, so you've gotten more apology than a phantasm deserved anyway.

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