I don’t sleep at night. No, really, but I do sleep. But at night? Forget it.
This isn’t a new adult phenomenon, either. No, I didn’t sleep as a child. Of course, my poor dear parents made sincere attempts to get me in bed so I could wake up and have a nice, if not productive, day at kindergarten. Mornings were not my forte in school. Or ever.
As an adult I’ve managed better because I have a carefully crafted schedule that adapts to the order of my sleep. At one time I thought perhaps I had a sleep disorder, but no. The order of my days is just different. Today, I got a clue as to why.
Of course, the reason I’m about to put forth had no bearing on my sleep-less nights as a child. The fact that Mousercise came on at five in the morning and I realized pretty quick that if I just stayed awake I’d be able to do aerobics with the incomparable Kellen and Goofy solidified my night owlish-ness. There was nothing gonna make me go to bed. Who likes to do aerobics, even Mousercise, as soon as they wake up? Not me, my friend.
But present day, with my dinner shifts I work and late afternoon/early evening yoga classes I teach, it’s fortunate that I have the opportunity to spend my nights and wee hours of the morning investing in what I really really love – yoga and writing in no particular order. But also, there’s something else to which I’ve either adapted my schedule to honor or I’ve developed through lack of skill.
Being out in the day freaks me out.
Today I met my sister, Sage, and my nephew, T3, at the Vietnamese restaurant we all know and love. We are eating at noon-thirty, right around breakfast time for yours truly. Driving into town, which is about thirty minutes from the “down the highway” beach community in which I live, I encounter a lot of traffic. And then I realize this isn’t “a lot” of traffic but normal day traffic to which I’m not accustomed. I drive to work at three thirty in the afternoon, just before five o’clock traffic gets thick. I am at work when all that goes down.
Then there’s the matter of all those people everywhere. I had to wait in line at Barnes and Noble for coffee and to pay for my magazine. I never have to wait in line when I go to the bookstore after I get off work at ten-thirty. But there are people all over the place in the cafe, too. It’s hard to find a table. This doesn’t bother me, I’m not a cafe table sitter anyway, but the sheer number of people in the establishment is more than I’m accustomed to.
One might wonder how I do at work, given that we can go on up to an hour wait with all those many flocks of families loitering about in the lobby. Dear Reader, I do not go into the lobby. I keep myself safely tucked in my section or in the kitchen, where guests are kept in quite manageable numbers or aren’t allowed at all. Parties greater than about ten people do overwhelm me. It gets quite loud.
On my way home after this wonderful outing with my nephew there is more traffic. A light turns red and green and red again no less than three times before I get to go under it. There are radios blasting songs I’ve never heard before, mostly because I don’t listen to the radio too often. I don’t listen to the radio too often because after being in the cacophony that is the restaurant where I work (regardless of whether or not I keep myself safely tucked in the back of the restaurant or not) I prefer a nice quiet ride home sans noise.
The radios playing songs I’ve never heard make me feel like a hermit who has been thrust into the fray of daily living, which I sort of am given my proclivity for night walking. If I’d had to go to the grocery store this afternoon my nightmare would be complete. Alas, I keep my cat food purchases and coffee acquisitions for after ten at night, when minimal people walk the aisles and I find ample space among the Boca burger cooler section.
Am I agoraphobic?
I don’t think so, though I noted a marked increase in my stress responses such as chest constriction and shifty eye movements while day walking. Do I think the public is out to get me? Not really, unless you’re that lady texting and driving that Prius trying to steal that parking space near the front of Barnes and Noble. She might be out to get me, I’m not sure.