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Location: California

I love paper. Books printed on acid-free paper and bound in cloth turn me on. I'm crazy about bookmarks, and I buy too many stickers. I could spend hours in the build-your-own-greeting card section of my neighborhood craft store. My favorite thing to eat is bread, and my second favorite is fruit. (Mm, pineapple.) I read too much and too fast, and I watch too many food shows (two ways of looking at gluttony). Gloomy, rainy weather calms me and so I can't wait to move out of California, which will happen, sadly, too many years from now to count. I'm vegan, though I haven't managed to eliminate honey from my diet yet. I practice yoga; it's the only way I can keep fit. I have a better life than I ever imagined I would (or deserve to) have, but I do my best to enjoy it rather than feel guilty about it. That's my daily struggle -- and also to be thoughtful and observant and honest with myself.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Self Portrait Tuesday

Two nights ago I couldn't sleep. I tossed and turned and watched the time slip by, one hour after another. At two o'clock in the morning I set up camp on the living room sofa with a comforter and Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. I read for a while. I turned off the lights for a while and stared at the ceiling, willing my eyes to shut and my mind to quiet down. Then I turned the light back on and read some more. I diligently got up in the morning at my usual time. I felt like my head was stuffed with cotton for the rest of the day. I couldn't concentrate on anything, and there was an emptiness in my stomach. It had been a long time since I'd felt this tired. For about a year I commuted from Anaheim to Los Angeles on the train for work and only back then did I feel this way. I used to doze off on the train at eight in the morning and wake up, startled and sick of myself, when the train arrived at Union Station.

I gave up on wakefulness at four thirty in the afternoon yesterday and slept for three hours. This is hard for me. I like schedules. I like my day to run a certain way. I hate to take naps, even when I'm dead tired. Naps make me feel lazy, and I avoid them at all costs. It's a contest of will between my conscious and unconscious mind. I don't like it when I have to give in to biological needs, food or sleep or whatever else. Yesterday evening I slept until seven thirty, had dinner and then went back to bed for a full night's sleep. How sweet it was, that sleep.

I'm finally back to normal. And I've decided, with this clear, rested mind that last night's sleep has returned to me so generously, that sleep is not my enemy. (I hate it, though, that I have to do so much of it, at least nine hours a night to feel well rested. It seems, to the workaholic part of my brain, such a waste of time.) Sleep brings dreams, after all. My dreams are often grotesque and frightening. But they fascinate me. I've always been a bit of a voyeur. I like to be a fly on the wall. I like to watch and listen when no one knows that I'm watching or listening. And what a goldmine dreams are for a voyeur -- the chance to get glimpses into what the mind does when the consciousness isn't there. Good night, then, and happy watching.


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