I called into work today. Calling into work isn’t something I do very often; the first time I ever did it at any job, I was 16 and asked my parents if I should really be calling in sick if I wasn’t bedridden. I blame my parents for this, actually, because you know the part in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off when he does this whole how-to-fake-sick rigamarole? That was required by my parents. If I didn’t have a temperature of over 101, I was going to school. Anything less was cheating.
It’s not that I’m sick sick today, but my shoulder (and neck, and back, and arm, and kind of my head, too, because why stop with just one broken body part, haha, fuck me, right?) hurts enough that I’m unable to breathe very comfortably, nevermind sitting in a years-old desk chair with no real back support. Shittily, sleeping is what hurts the most, so even though I called in, I had to stay up from the normal time just like I was going to work. Instead of speaking to pissy clients and answering feckless sales reps all day, though, I alternated a cold pack and a heating pad and thought about how extra strength ibuprofen is totally bullshit and I really really really hope the doctor I’m seeing on Thursday doesn’t take me for a junkie because I would strangle someone for some muscle relaxers right now.
(And if any doctors are reading this, please know that I’m not a junkie. I’ve never had a painkiller habit, not even back when I was incurring soccer injuries left and right, including once when a girl yanked me down from a header, which tore a muscle in my neck that also irritated a lymph node. That was fun. I don’t even like opiates very much. I can still feel the pain, I’m just slightly distracted from it by the itching and the warm pins-and-needles in my fingertips.)
While I couldn’t really sleep, I did manage to doze off for a few minutes at a time. Nothing truly satisfying, but just enough to experience that feeling of drifting off for a daytime nap, which is somehow entirely different from falling asleep at night. It’s hard to determine when I fall asleep at night, but when I’m able to nap during the day, I know exactly when I’m drifting off. First, I hear sounds and voices that I realize aren’t real, so I know right away that they’re from a dream. Then I feel this sort of weightless detachment, like I’m floating but moving along a straight line at the same time, and it’s not at all like falling so I never jolt awake.
If you were wondering if being able to notice and take advantage of the moment when you can still control your dreams is cool, then I’m here to tell you that yes, it totally is! At least the first part, which feels like 30 minutes but as we all know about dreams is probably something like six seconds. In any case, it’s terrific to be able to focus on a person or a thing and dream them/it up. I haven’t decided yet if falling asleep like this allows me to remember my dreams better, but I am totally open to any offers to pay me my current living wage while I just fall asleep all day and find out.