Friday, September 7, 2007

Woe Is Me, light pollution & that d@#*! fly

I’ve always been sensitive to light while I sleep. I think it hearkens back to the days when I briefly --What’s a couple of years when you’re getting on in years? -- shared a room with my two older sisters.

I spent my mornings flinging a pillow over my head morning after morning as they arose an hour and a half earlier than me to get ready for high school. (No they couldn’t get dressed in the dark.) I quickly learned the fine art of blocking out light while maintaining a steady supply of fresh air.

So NYC is not the darkest spot on the planet. In order to sleep, I’ve hung dark blankets over my curtains, and more recently invested in a nice handy dandy sleep mask. You know, those scraps of silky smooth satin and elastic band made in great colors and occasionally accompanied by ruffles.

Audrey Hepburn wore one in Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

But I digress, sometime last week in the middle of the night I managed to loose my eye mask. The one I wear to block out the streetlight shinning across the street, and that wonderful morning sun that insists on rising first thing (6:00am) no matter how much I complain.

So last week at some point in the night, my eye mask disappeared. Unfortunately when they’re new the elastic is firm and springy, and they tend to slide off fairly easily. At least they do on me.

I vaguely remember it sliding smoothly over my hair and the feeling of cool air caressing skin that had been covered. In particular, I remember the firm tug of elastic against one of my fingers as the eye mask spring boarded off my head and across the room.

Alas, that is the last time I saw, or rather, felt my eye mask, the bringer of sleep to the light sensitive and fashion accessory to the jaded.

I’ve searched high and low, dug through piles of bills I’ve been meaning to shred, and luggage that I’ve not yet put away.

Restless nights have plagued me ever since, complete with psycho creams and tired itchy eyes that stay with me all day. I yawned all day at work on Tuesday and I’ve been dragging ever since. Who knew light and the things we condition ourselves to could make such a difference?

I did a little digging about sleep and lack of darkness for this post, and found out some interesting facts. Did you know that a simple nightlight can children's eyesight? That light pollution has been tied to breast cancer in labrotory mice, and as for my complaint of the moment, lack of restful sleep.

Turn out those lights and pull down those black-out shades. The dark is good for you.

So you’d think my life was bad enough with no sleep, but then the fly came.

I spent Tuesday night with a big fat fly buzzing around my room. Who knows where it had been, I refuse to think about it because is showed a disturbing tendency to be near me. I think it was drawn to my sparkling personality, but regardless of why it liked me, it was quite annoying.

Before I went to sleep and turned out my lights, it kept landing on my arm or leg, and thankfully it decided to go to sleep when I did. When I finally put my book down and turned out my lamp it quit bothering me. That is until the next morning.

At 7:00 am the fly reminded me of its presence. Since I wouldn’t wake up and play, it took to landing on my face (lip, chin, and nostril…). Moment after moment, I brushed it away until I was fully awake long before I needed to be. Once my mind was alert and thinking, I couldn’t help but ponder the poisonous roach traps in my apartment or the boric acid sprinkled around the walls. I wondered if the fly had stopped by those places, and if I was going to die a horrible painful death by the end of the day.

I left my bathroom and front room windows open when I left for work, and I am happy to report that the fly is gone. It either died or flew away. I’ll take either one, at least it’s gone, and I’m still alive.

So wish me luck while I dig through my bedroom this weekend, I really don’t want to buy another mask, but I need to do something before I go crazy. I need sleep.

Inarticulately, (Because really, how could write anything half-decent while I’m half asleep?)


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