Last night, after my day of extreme fatigue, was a very bad night. Not a bad night as in "I got shot and had to spend hours in the emergency room getting a bullet yanked from my thigh," or "I was puking all night long until I ended up curled on the bathmat, tears leaking from my eyes," or even anything remotely related to the things I'm supposed to watch out for—no seizures, no major headaches, no sudden loss of motor skills. No, last night was bad because my nose was plugged and I had to breathe with my mouth open and I, therefore, couldn't sleep longer than about 45 minutes without flailing awake to drink more water and moisten my arid-seared soft tissues.
This was bad in the way that things are bad that are almost perfect except for some diabolical detail. I once stayed in a perfect apartment in Greece for a week—complete with kitchenette, sitting room, bedroom, bath, right in town, only $10.60 per night . . . before the Euro, of course . . . except that there were never fewer than 2 mosquitoes in the bedroom at night no matter how many mosquito coils I used and how many I smashed, and someone had left meat in the fridge and it had been unplugged (this was late September and I found the meat so who knows how long it had been there) . . . so collecting my yoghurt in the morning was an invariable exercise in gag reflex control. If the little apartment hadn't been so absolutely perfect in every other way, I probably wouldn't even have registered the mosquitoes (although the meat, well, that would've been hard to ignore).
Anyway, I was tired last night, and happy to be in my bed—so happy—because I really was so tired yesterday. And yet, even during the 45-minute naps, I wasn't sleeping well—I was dreaming, but not about anything coherent or, I believe, helpful—mostly about water bottles, but water bottles that were supposed to be constructed into something else . . . The dreams made sense to my sleeping self—more or less—in a frantic sort of "stop-this-cycle-I-get-it-already" way, but the sense fled as soon as I dragged myself awake and drank some water. And of course, drinking so much water meant I needed to pee a lot, which I did, wondering each time if it was really worth it to put all that effort into going all the way to the bathroom right then or if I could put it off. At 8:00am, I finally dragged myself all the way out of the bedroom end of the house and to the kitchen, 20 feet away, and made myself eat some breakfast. I wasn't particularly hungry—I tend to feel a bit oogy in the tummy anyway if I haven't had enough sleep (like for those early morning flights where you have to leave the house at 4:30am)—but I choked down some yoghurt and took my pills . . . and blew my nose.
And suddenly, it was as if the heavens opened and the angels sang again, and kittens and puppies cavorted together, and then, tired, lay down and slept. With my nose clear, I was able to go back to bed, and, breathing entirely nasally, sleep for four hours. It took me at least three more naps throughout the day to make my way up to my normal level of fatigue—maybe a 7—but I did it. Sleep, real sleep, is glorious.