the nap trap

Posted: September 14, 2011 in Humorous Bits
Tags: , , ,

We’ve all experienced that moment when we’re so tired and our usual bedtime seems so impossibly out of reach that the only recourse is taking a nap. Nothing long, nothing extravagant. Just enough to revitalize and allow us to get through the remainder of the day convincingly enough that everyone actually thinks we’re interested in what’s happening around us. Maybe all you need is a Power Nap, 10-15 minutes of shuteye from which you explode as if given a shot of pure adrenaline to the heart Mia Wallace style. Perhaps you require a bit more time, an hour or even 90 minutes. (I don’t think there’s a catchy name for those longer naps.) Whatever the case, vast armies of folks out there swear by the nap. People from all walks of life embrace and promote their value. Many societies have even built napping into the fabric of their daily lives. I’m sure reams of thoughtful scientific studies tout their benefits. Yes, naps are ubiquitous and everyone seems to love them. Everyone, that is, except me.

For years I’ve railed against the nap. They never revive me, never re-energize me, never refresh me. No matter how discombobulated I was before napping, it’s worse after. What was meant to give me a renewed measure of equilibrium instead makes me feel as if I just went 15 rounds with Ali in his prime. The time I spend dancing with daytime dreams, whether 10 minutes or 90 minutes, takes hours to recover from. And, of course, they bring the added delight of screwing up my ability to fall asleep at a normal bedtime. Naps? Y’all can keep ‘em.

Despite this I slipped into the Nap Trap this afternoon. It was a long day. I woke exceptionally early, got to work exceptionally early and spent the day exceptionally busy doing all those work things that excel at sapping energy. Driving home sleepiness shrouded me like a Dementor. Still I had options. I could’ve taken a walk or done incidental shopping. I could’ve organized the closet or processed photos or written a blog post. Instead I succumbed to that I know to be evil. I purposely plopped in bed with the intention of falling asleep. “One hour,” I thought. “What could it hurt?”

Well, my neck for starters. Here’s a handy tip for you novice nappers out there. Don’t fall asleep with your head resting at an angle favored by Linda Blair in The Exorcist. When I woke I spent the next few hours walking around as if balancing a basket of produce on my head. Additionally, the mental fog was so thick I expected to see Holmes emerge from the mist, Calabash planted firmly in his mouth. My ability to string two coherent thoughts together, and then articulate them in a manner which passes for human communication, decided to take a holiday. I had the eerie sensation I sounded like the second President Bush answering questions at a press conference. I’m telling you, man. 15 rounds with Ali. Only this was no Thrilla in Manila or Rumble in the Jungle. This was Head Repeatedly Smashed Against a Concrete Wall Until Any Possibility to Function in a Socially Passable Manner Proved Utterly Hopeless. I realize that doesn’t rhyme or trip off the tongue as neatly as Thrilla in Manila or Rumble in the Jungle but hey, I’m still in nap recovery mode here. Have mercy.

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