It’s Friday night. I have the house to myself and plans to attend a 12-mile run with a slightly-faster-than-me group on Saturday morning.
7:30 PM: I eat a delicious yet responsible dinner involving a juicy beef burger patty and lots of sweet potato fries. And I haven’t had a beer all week, so hot damn it’s about time.
[Meh. Avery Brewing’s White Rascal is a Belgian-style white (think Blue Moon). It’s the perfect thing to sip on a hot August night, but I was underwhelmed. It tasted kind of like an Arnold Palmer. 5.6% ABV.]
9:00 PM: I’ve burned through four of my expensive (but worth it, because they actually work) mosquito cones.
Also, there are probably cats in the kitchen agitating for dinner. Time to head inside.
9:15 PM: Beer number two is a Brooklyn Lager rummaged from the depths of the fridge. I sip it slowly while working on a new writing project that’s been banging around in my skull all week. I write almost 2,000 words, which makes me happy.
10:30 PM: Big glass of water. Teeth brushed, face washed, lights out. I congratulate myself for being a paragon of maturity and responsibility: sober, well-fed, plenty hydrated, and about to get a solid 8 hours of sleep before my morning run alarm.
11:30 PM: I am still awake.
12:30 AM: I am…still fucking awake.
12:45 AM: Just drifting off when I hear a thump. I mean…a THUMP. Wide awake again, with irrational visions of robbers and serial killers dancing in my head. Probably, it was one of the fat cats jumping down from a nocturnal romp on a banned countertop or something like that, but…
…OMG SERIAL KILLERS.
Wide, wide awake.
1:00 AM: I consider turning on the TV but the remote is out of reach. I grab my phone instead and spend the next 45 minutes reading the entire internet.
1:45 AM: I pop a melatonin, turn on the Pandora sleep station, and set the my sleep timer app for 30 minutes. Roll over and finally….
2:45 AM: There’s a baby crying in the hallway and it wakes me up. WTF?
Wait, it’s just the cat and her Baby Wail.
A couple of years ago, Emmy started doing this super creepy thing where she meows and it sounds just like a human baby crying. We have no idea where she picked it up. Apparently it’s an actual thing and it’s called a “manipulative meow” (charming), but I avoid crying human babies at all costs so I don’t know how she learned it. Unless imitating a dying infant is, like, embedded in her genetic code or something. Which I would have to admit is pretty badass.
Emmy only does the Baby Wail in one specific circumstance: at night, outside our bedroom door, when it is closed. And come to think of it, I’ve never actually seen her do it. (She’s just…there when one of us inevitably open the door.) So it’s possible she’s a supernatural shape-shifter of some sort.
In either case: you win, cat.
2:50 AM: I get up to open the bedroom door.
To my surprise and relief, Emmy immediately curls up beside me and goes to sleep instead of prancing on my bladder or kneading my face or drinking out of my water glass or finding a plastic bag to lick compulsively.
3:00 AM: Emmy’s supernatural powers apparently extend into the thermonuclear realm. In just a few minutes, she’s managed to raise the temperature in the bed by about seven hundred degrees. I get up and switch on the ceiling fan.
3:15 AM: Still awake.
I consider wine. Or vodka. Or NyQuil. This is miserable.
I’m still thinking that I might actually get up for that 7 AM run, though. I mutter a complaint to the snoring cat (bitch), reach for my phone, and punch the icon for this white noise app that I downloaded a long time ago but have rarely used.
3:45 AM: White noises are obnoxious. I turn the app off. I give up on running and deactivate my alarm. It ain’t gonna happen on fewer than three hours of sleep.
[insert long pause here]
10:05 AM: I wake up, fully rested and refreshed.
My running group has been done for 90 minutes now.
FML. Glad I got some sleep, though.
[insert dramatic pause before postscript here]
Yes, I know I’m being whiny. Yes, I know I could’ve sucked it up and gone to run anyway. Yes, I know that my anxiety about running farther and faster than I have in months is probably what kept me up in the first place. Yes, I know your small infant kept you up all night and you can just-wait-until-you-have-kids me all you want but I already have a fucking cat that meows like a baby which is way creepier so there.
Basically, what I’ve taken away from this is that being reasonable and responsible doesn’t pay.
Remind me of that next weekend when I’m attempting a Saturday morning run after an indulgent dinner and a bottle of wine.
At the very least, being in a drunken food coma is a good way to guarantee sleep.