Saturday, July 7, 2007

Nap Attack

It's very important for me to be properly rested. Sadly, there's no wild-child lifestyle for me. No rocking out til the break of dawn and whatnot. Without my requisite 8 there can be no functioning. And I mean it. My body goes into active rebellion and there is NO FUNCTIONING. When this happens no amount of caffeine or exercise will stop the inevitable. The impending nap will not be denied.

Now, I'm not talking about your run of the mill Give Me 40 Winks and I'll be Ship-Shape Nap. Nor is it the I've Just Eaten the Entire Buffet at Circus Circus and Am Slipping Into A Food Coma Nap. This is a Mega Nap. A pending on narcolepsy nap. A "You better find someplace to lay down in the next thirty-two seconds or LIKE IT OR NOT you'll be crumpling to the ground like a bag of Jello and complete strangers will see you drooling in the middle of this grocery store aisle while you take this nap" Nap.

These naps are very serious business.

I remember one particularly violent nap attack in college. It was all I could do to withstand the remaining minutes of my class before I stumbled outside of the building and collapsed onto the grass, a mere 6 inches from the sidewalk. Oddly, while I was sleeping I could hear upperclassmen walking by and commenting on the spectacle I was making of myself, but The Nap would not be denied. And I had to just keep on sleeping until my body deemed itself to be back within "functioning range". I ended up sleeping there for about 3 hours. Waking up, I was glad to see that I only had an earring silhouette sunburn and wasn't covered in silly string as I had feared.

Clearly, this little napping issue of mine can be inconvenient at times. So like most disabilities I've had to learn to live my life managing it. The first thing, obviously, is to stay well rested. I am consequently an Olympic Sleeper. My duvet cover has a sleeping Bald Eagle and my slogan "Sleeping For America" emblazoned on it to cheer me on. But every so often I do still get spells in which a nap must happen. To manage these, I always scout out my places of employment for suitable napping spots. To be suitable, it must be easily accessible, weather resistant (or provide summer/winter options), and if at all possible my boss should never ever see me in it lest they be tempted to fire my ass for sleeping on the job. Even though, it's like totally not my fault.

In the past, these are the places I have resorted to regularly:
  • The most excellently comfortable couch on the Asian Studies floor (used to be the 1st floor) of the BYU Library
  • Under my desk
  • On the BYU, University of Maryland, or National Malls
  • The floor of any carpeted hallway (the Humanities Building at BYU was a great favorite)
  • The sound recording studio of the Humanities Research Center
  • The East Asian Studies room of the University of Maryland Library (despite the short couches)
  • My car in parking lots, drive ways, park-n-ride lots, highway shoulders, or neighborhood streets
  • Park benches
  • Empty office cubicles
  • Grassy flat spaces, such as those non-parks that urban planners put on busy corners
  • Grassy medians between highways/busy streets
  • And if I'm very lucky and I can make it home, my bed.

Libraries are a favorite for the obvious reasons: plenty of quiet, lots of places to tuck yourself away, and people expect you to be asleep. Especially in the Asian Study Rooms. This is but one of the reasons I became a librarian - built in nap rooms! If there's no library handy though, I'm a sucker for any flat grassy spot. If I'm not likely to get killed or mugged and it's flat and grassy, you can bet that I'll be asleep on it. I don't really prefer hallways or office spaces because they're loud and you're in the way ... which I always feel guilty about once the nap funk clouding my brain has dissipated and I can feel proper amounts of shame and self-respect again.

But ideally, the best scenario is to be at home in the peace and quiet of your own room. And I am very happy that today's nap attack was close enough to home that I had enough time to drive erratically down the block, peel around the corner, ride the elevator upstairs, get into my apartment, change my clothes and collapse into my bed before falling into a 4 hour episode. Standing in line at the bank, I wasn't sure if I'd be able to make it. Count. Money. Faster. IDIOT!!

I feel much better now.

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