W. P. Johnson

Alarm Clock

In Uncategorized on October 30, 2014 at 10:57 am

And I’m up…

I don’t sleep in anymore, not even if I purposely unset the alarm with plans to finally sleep in. Even Sundays, which has become sort of my “lazy day”, inevitably becomes another day wherein my eyes pop open at eight and I’m at my laptop, sleepily typing away (and mind you, for bartenders/servers, eight is pretty early to be waking up).

When I first started this early morning routine, I had been in the midst of a three month stretch of overtime (we were short staffed). It was exhausting and made me pretty cranky if I have to be honest. Worst still, I had night terrors and started swearing in my sleep. I mean, I said vicious shit in my sleep, like “fucking bitch, piece of shit, goddamn cunt”. I can’t imagine my fiancee slept easy on those nights, and it became even worse when I bolted out of bed and ran into the closet, tripping and slashing my arm on a loose strand of a wicker basket. We started closing the bedroom door for fear that I’d try to run down the stairs and fall, breaking my goddamn neck. The stairs in our house are steep and slippery, a hazard even if you’re wide awake. Both myself and my fiancee have taken the fall more than once.

Well, at any rate, we tried to determine what was causing these night terrors. Particularly I was concerned with all the swearing I was doing in my sleep. What dreams would prompt such anger? I’m not an angry person. To be honest, I really don’t like anger. I think for a time I had expressed anger as a faux means of appearing to have some kind of depth to my personality or something equally annoying. I think back on those moments now with terrible embarrassment for that person I was, knowing how rarely I raise my voice now and how difficult it is to actually become verbally angry. Am I negative? Yes. And I easily annoyed by pretty much everything? Oh my god, try watching a minute of the news without rolling your eyes. But do I ever get angry in that way we remember our fathers acting when the bills all came in and there was no money to pay them? Never. I just don’t see the point to it.

However, I did express anger with myself. In the earliest stages of getting up early prior to work in order to write, I mentally assaulted myself in order to get out of bed, thinking, “get out of bed you fucking pussy or your worthless” and other things like that. Stuff I would never say out loud. The voice would keep screaming until I finally slid out of bed onto my achy feet, poured myself some coffee, and stared at the computer screen. Even then it would take me about a half an hour of scrolling through facebook or whatever else before I finally woke up and got to work.

I think the night terrors were in response to this anger and stress. And I think part of that had to do with the struggle of writing a novel in its mid point, which is where, I believe, a writer has to commit to certain decisions regarding their characters and the direction of the story. It’s tricky, this mid point. Once you cross that barrier it’s very hard to go back and change anything, and sometimes this can give you cold feet.

I’m happy to say now that I don’t really feel that stress anymore. In all likelihood, I’ll finish the book by December and at this point it’s not even really a matter of “what happens?” so much as just typing it all out. The night terrors are gone for the most part. No more swearing in my sleep, no more tiny voice screaming in my head to get out of bed. No more bolting out of bed and running into the closet (whatever the Freudian hell that shit means).

At eight, my eyes pop open and I’m awake. The stories are waiting for me. For now… it’s pretty nice.

I’ll try to enjoy it while it lasts.


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