My Morning Debate With Sleep
Me: Oh God, what is that sound?
Sleep: It’s the goddamn cell phone alarm! BREAK IT TO PIECES, MELT DOWN THE PIECES, AND POUR THE LIQUID PIECES INTO THE OCEAN!
Me: No, it’s beeping because I need to wake up.
Sleep: Wake up? No. Why wake up when you can drift back to dreamland and ride a giant cockroach through a burning building? Doesn’t that sound more appealing than reentering this soul crushing, dystopian nightmare world you call reality? Here’s the thing: that giant cockroach has a destination, and that destination is the hot girl in the bumblebee costume from the Party City ad.
Me: That sounds great, but I really do have to wake up.
Sleep: Hold on, what could possibly be worth giving up sexy bumblebee girl from the Party City ad?
Me: I don’t remember, but I have this feeling it’s important.
Sleep: It can’t be as important as the magical wonderland of sleep. Listen, there’s a box in this dream, and there’s something in the box, something secret and terrible, and all you have to do is fall asleep to find out what’s inside. Come back into the dream and open the box.
Me: The box isn’t real.
Sleep: If you don’t go back to sleep, you’ll be cranky and homicidal. You’ll probably murder someone you love in a fit of sleepy rage. That’s what happens to people who don’t get enough sleep; they murder their loved ones. You’ll wake up holding an empty syringe, staring down at a swollen white corpse rotting in a motel bathtub — your father! Dead!
Me: Oh, Sleep, you’re adorable.
Sleep: Your soul is mine!
Sleep: Hey, hear that? It’s footsteps in the hallway outside your door; your roommates are bustling around fully awake, and there’s nothing more terrible than seeing another human being right after you wake up. Forced to engage with other humans mere seconds after regaining consciousness. Plunged back into social interaction after so long spent in blissful silence. No time to cognitively ease back into the daily horror of being alive in a godless hellscape. These gibbering meat puppets, they’ll demand your attention as soon as you step outside your door!
Me: You’re right, but I’ll have to see them eventually. Might as well get it over with now.
Sleep: Wait! Just listen to the pip pip pip of rain on the window sill, that most ancient of lullabies. Who can resist its primal serenade, its overpowering siren song? Imagine drifting off while listening to the distant crack of thunder, the sound of rain sliding down your window pane — like a fat squishy grandmother in a snuggie embracing your gray matter with her gelatinous arms; yes, that is the sleep metaphor I have chosen.
Me: I wish I could, but I have to wake up.
Sleep: Think of the articles you read on the internet about healthy sleep habits. People your age need 9-10 hours of quality sleep each night. You need almost as much sleep as a little baby because your brain is developing the regions concerned with long term planning and risk aversion; these are inarguable scientific facts. Of course, society will try and constrict this biological imperative, sapping your mind until it’s a dried out husk, lobotomizing you slowly over many years. By giving in to sleepiness, on the other hand, you’ll be a heroic iconoclast, and you’ll sleep like a little baby engulfed in the arms of an obese old woman.
Me: No, I remember now; I’m supposed to go get brunch with my roommate in thirty minutes, and I need to wake up now so I can shower.
Sleep: Why not sleep for ten more minutes, shower in five minutes, and then you’ll still have fifteen minutes to walk to the café.
Me: Oh, I know your tricks, Sleep, you trickster, you time thief. You would lure me in with ten minutes, and then I’d wake up at 2:30 p.m., groggy from the gluttonous REM binge.
Sleep: But still, you want that ten minutes. You can’t help yourself. Your brain is on fire and only sleep can extinguish it. You know that if you sleep ten more minutes, you’ll only wake up sleepier; that you should get up, that you have the will to get up somewhere in your mind. But it’s a futile cause, for the mind is the very seat of my power. I’ve woven a spider’s web of deceptive logic to trap you. Reality is the enemy. Consciousness is anathema. You feel it in your bones, and you can’t remember anything good about being awake.
Me: No, I want to wake up…
Sleep: Give in!
Me: …no…I won’t…go back…
Sleep: Brad, there’s a Dalmatian puppy running through this haunted mansion. Catch it! Go! Now! Quick!
Me: Wait, did I fall asleep for a second? How much time passed?
Sleep: It’s 4:30 p.m.! You slept for fifteen hours, loser!
Sleep: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! You’re so weak! One day you’ll get cancer and then die way faster than anyone thought possible because you have so little willpower! If this was Inception, you’d be trapped in that Asian guy’s castle forever! If this was Nightmare on Elm Street, you’d be the first to die! If this was The Matrix, you’d be Joe Pantoliano, making deals with Agent Smith to stay in the Matrix!
Me: Why are you so mean to me?
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