Today, I woke up at 4:30 in the afternoon. I'm not a morning person by any stretch of the definition, so it was a good hour, hour and a half by the time I could truly consider myself fully functional. There was a bit of breakfast, and a flurry of internet activity as I answered messages that had stacked up during the day, belting out one witty one-liner after another now that my brain was firing on all cylinders. Had a little walk in the chilly fall air, then settled into a bit of gaming, before finally going to work at 10 PM.
It's safe to say that my world does not function like the average person's world. By the time I get up, most of the day has passed. Decent people are leaving work. By the time I go to work, decent people are turning in for the night. It's given me a different, strange perspective on the world at large. The world where I live is darker, quieter, colder, and maybe a little more dangerous.
I've got a sleeping disorder. I may be up all night, but I'm not an insomniac. Sleep comes easily for me, just not at the same time as most people. Delayed Sleep Phase Disorder is the fancy way of saying that I go to bed much later and wake up much later than the societally expected times. When I go to check my mail, the temperature's already dropped out of its highs for the day. When I go grocery shopping, the aisles are mysteriously absent of squealing children and kamikaze shopping carts. When I go for a drive, the roads are empty. Most of the people I know in the real world are already gone to bed by the time I hit my second wind.
How long has it been this way? Quite a while. Longer than I can clearly remember. It's surmised that my problem may sometimes be caused by traumatic head injury. I know this problem started in my teenage years, because it took me forever to get out of bed in the morning and I'd often fall asleep in classes. I was in a pretty nasty car accident that claimed part of my right ankle when I was about 17. My head, or so they tell me, punched out the back windshield of a Honda Accord that was in the middle of performing some Hollywood-level Automotive Gymnastics. Grass-sky-grass-sky-grass-sky. That sort of thing.
I did attempt to live a normal life for a while. Was married for a few years, and worked morning shifts. Slept fitfully and woke up groggy, stumbled through work and life, and don't remember a lot of it. Weekends would be spent getting the kid up, then sleeping on the couch while she watched cartoons. Since that part of my life ended, I've gone back to working the latest shifts they'll give me, and I'm more alert and remember more of what's gone on since then.
It makes having a social life a bit difficult at times, this nocturnal existence, but that's a small concern to me these days. I will say it adds nicely to that air of dark, mysteriousness that I've cultivated oh, so well. You meet the most interesting people working the night shifts, and can get into the most entertaining types of trouble. I should really go into that at some point..
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