Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Sleep, Sleep, Sleepyhead*

I am not cut out for communal life. Sometimes it's darn hard for an introvert like me to have the constant companionship of the wee folk.

So when I go to sleep I look forward not just to the slumber but the solitary respite. And if my sleep is disturbed? Look out. (I say this now that my kids sleep through the night and I'm no longer gulping down sleep in 2-hour intervals. I'm way out of practice with fractured nights.)

Last night I was about to pummel my next-door neighbor, a 19-year-old home from college on his winter break. He's a nice kid, actually, and just celebrated his ascension (or whatever you call it) to Eagle scout. But last night he and his friends were gathered around a modified bonfire in his backyard till about 2 o'clock in the morning. I am apparently a cranky old lady because all I could think was A) What is up with the bonfire in the middle of the night? and B) What is up with all the LOUDNESS? Stop laughing, children! There's sleep to be had.

This isn't a recent mindset, either. I have never been able to sleep with any kind of noise. As a child, when my parents had company at night, I'd get up from my bed and sit forlornly on the steps, perhaps sighing loudly from time to time, until my parents noticed me. "You're making too much noise," I'd whine, "I can't sleep."

In college I was the nerd who'd stomp down the hallway of my dorm and glare malevolently at all the impudent students daring to talk while I was trying to sleep. On a spring break trip for Project Appalachia, I huddled miserably in my sleeping bag on the floor of a cabin in Kentucky with 40 other girls. Who never.stopped.talking, forcing me to nearly suffocate myself with my pillow so that the noise would be muffled.

I wish that I were more flexible in this regard, that I could conk out no matter what the ambient noise level. It's a good thing last night's disruption was just an aberration -- I'm headed straight for my pillow after I post this, and I'm looking forward to the sweet silence.

*There I go again with the REM lyric as post title. I guess that's my own personal narrative crutch.