Eyelids drooping, barely able to open them enough to see my way to the bathroom, running into a wall before finally finding my way through the door. Where did it suddenly come from anyway? The wall, I mean. I swear it wasn’t there half a second earlier, but then again, who am I to be able to tell with massive sleep deprivation kicking in from 10 days of 1-5 hours of sleep per night. After a beautiful day in the small beach town of Pacific Grove off the coast of California I expected a comfortable night’s rest but found myself restless and filled with anxiety watching the clock advance an hour at a time as if it was merely moments. 6am came too quickly but finally I drifted off to sleep only to be woken up by a hotel neighbor having a pointed discussion with someone on the phone. Was she next to me or right outside? My judgement was clearly impaired. Drifting in and out again, finally to be awoken by a car alarm and screaming children, probably connected. 7:45am. Crap this was going to be rough.
Reaching forward, requiring all the strength I could muster I slowly turned the knob of the shower. I could see it running as if in slow motion, or maybe that was just me? Somehow my butt found it’s way to the floor, struggling as if I should get up but deciding the effort was fruitless I gave up resistance and stayed where I planted. Coffee. Must. Have. Now.
Struggling to see through the haze and daze I managed to get myself ready for the day. Was the shower still on? I should really do something about that. Turning it off, I entered back into the room collapsing on the bed where I laid for the next couple of hours motionless, doing my best impersonation of corpse pose.
Sleep deprivation is no stranger to me. I’ve spent the better part of my life drastically deprived, and especially so after spending the last year and a half sharing dorms, hostels, rooms, beds, benches, bus/plane/train seats and every other possible area you might sleep when desperation and deprivation unite as one. Just one of the many sacrifices I consider a blessing and a curse of my chosen lifestyle while I live the dream making my way around the world. Seems ironic to be living in a dream with little to no sleep.
Almost time to check out, I sit up in bed all zombie-like and notice the remnants of last night’s bottle of Pinot Noir on the table. Dinner still or would I consider it breakfast now? Wait, it’s Sunday. Brunch! Sipping out of my plastic cup I look up and catch a questioning glance from the Russian watching me from the other side of the room. “Wine?” he sneers with that cheeky grin which seems to be constantly mocking me. Normally I wouldn’t, but this isn’t normal is it? It’s Sunday…so this definitely has to fit under the brunching category! Apparently brunch needs to include food, otherwise it’s just considered morning drinking. Technicality…taken into consideration thank you!
Coffee. Coffee. Coffee. Mimosa. Eggs Benedict…mmm. Morning complete! Not without a few accidents and near death experiences. Poles and walls seem to be appearing as if out of thin air today! It probably wouldn’t have hurt so badly if I hadn’t just insisted on not being drunk. I swear the coffee made it into the to-go cup just fine, but the lid had a mind of it’s own! All is well, bruised pride heals faster than whatever may have happened had I actually smacked into the newly visible pole. More mocking laughter, some of it my own. You really have to be able to laugh off these kinds of things when they happen with the frequency I seem to experience.
After a brief walk along the rock cliffs, we make our way over to the sandy beach in Monterey. De ja vu from yesterday where we sat and enjoyed the afternoon with a little friendly banter coupled with a side of charcuterie and wine straight from the bottle. Pleasantly cloudy but clearing, the blue sky poked holes through the thick blanket of gray ahead as we walked through polar-bear plunge temperatures. Suddenly the Russian’s particularly thin skin seemed to thicken and remember its’ roots after being spoiled for 2 years in San Francisco weather. Fine, we’ll compromise…not polar icecaps melting, but maybe glacier runoff temperatures.
Never fully waking up but now appearing only slightly less than human, I stare aimlessly out at the deep blue mesmerized by her movements as she delicately waves and then crashes head over heels against the seashore repeatedly. Maybe that was just a hallucination, but it’s captivating either way.
A.D.D breaking into the silence of meditation, conversations turn to psychology: a favorite and frequented topic of ours. Before I can register what’s happening or my subsequent surprised expression, the self-proclaimed “shy” Russian is taking a selfie with the stranger in front of us. Maybe they’re friends? Nope. Just an innocent bystander equally taken off-guard by the drive-by photo op. Exercises in the practice of intentional discomfort-zoning. I’m not sure who’s more uncomfortable with these overly-friendly acts of stranger-danger education, but the recipients seem to be going through equally challenging mental responses to them. Not me though. I capitalize on the opportunity, striving to increase the discomfort by any means necessary…for the sake of his mental healing, of course.
Two sunburns and plenty of awkwardness later, it’s time to head back to the city…and just like that, the wonderful weekend away is over. Tragic as it is whenever it ends, but necessary in order to make way for the new experiences of tomorrow, thus is the tale of time. Until next time, I bid you adieu and goodnight!