Insomnia doesn’t just make the night go down the rabbit hole. It makes the day feel like a David Lynch film too. Waking up is brutal – as though you’ve been shot with a tranquiliser dart. “It’s OK, I’ll wake up in the shower,” you tell yourself – and then all that happens is you still feel cripplingly tired, but now wet, and have to go through the exhausting process of drying yourself and making decisions about clothes and putting them on, which is too many things to be expected to do on a brain that hasn’t slept.
And then your adrenaline kicks in to stop you falling flat on your face and suddenly everything becomes hyper-real. You make breakfast at break-neck speed, feeling maniacally cheerful, before reeling off to work like a crazed drunk. The world looks like a Pinewood set, like the buildings have been cut out of cardboard.
“I DIDN’T SLEEP,” you immediately announce at work in your adrenaline-charged weird voice. “I AM OUT OF CONTROL BORDERLINE INSANE LIKE NAOMI CAMPBELL.” Your eyes feel like you’ve been staring at a screen for twenty-four hours. And they look like it too. Bleak and bloodshot and blurred. Your concentration lasts an average of nine seconds. Sitting down is like getting back into bed. Totally fatal. It’s too comfortable, too inviting, mmmm, lovely comfortable chair (even if it’s not), cosy desk I could lay my head upon and sleeeeeeeeeeeeep, nice keyboard I could use as a pillow, gentle phone ringing that will lull me to sleep.
Someone asks you a question and you answer with the voice of a demonic record being played backwards. The blissful, overpowering drug that is the call of sleep making you feel like you’ve taken Quaaludes recreationally. “Want to get into…ball…on…..floor,” you say weakly. You’ve got seven and a half hours to go until you can leave. And then of course, once you are home, you’re rather awake again. And that feeling will come back WITH A VENGENCE at 3am and stay with you until 6.30am and then you’ll sleep like the dead until 7am and then repeat. Bastards.