Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Awake

I have come to the astute conclusion that there are two types of people in the world: those who fall asleep watching a movie, and those who fall asleep driving a car.

Lest that's too obscure for you, allow me to elaborate.

There are those who have never seen the end of a movie, who have read the top half of the same page in the same book every single night for twenty years. But put them behind the wheel of a car, and they'll drive two days straight, stopping only to refuel and to relieve.

Then there are those who have "Movie Marathon" trophies on their shelves ("1st Place-31 Straight Movies!"), who read every night until at least 2 AM, and who can work on the computer for an entire day. But those ones; put them behind the wheel of a car, and they're snoozing before the garage door is shut.

I'm one of the latter. Tuck me in by 10:30 pm, give me ten straight hours of uninterrupted sleep, let me shower, shave dress, and feed me a healthy (although not too hearty) breakfast, and put me behind the wheel by 9 AM, and by 9:40, I'm alternating between "Hellish Hot" and "Arctic" on the temperature selector; screaming along with Tom Petty at max volume ("I'M FRREEEEE--FRREEE FAALLLLIN'!!"); and dumping crushed ice down the back of my shirt, trying to stay awake. Once I even purposely rolled the fingers of my left hand up in the electric window, and drove from Bakersfield to San Bernadino that way (that, while excrutiatingly painful, was actually pretty effective).

I can stay awake though, all night, having slept only two hours the night previously, and worked all day, if you put a good book in my hand. In fact, I've done it before. Often.

There's something invigorating deep in the pages of a good story. Somewhere out there in the land of fiction there is this well of eerie energy that I seem to find almost from the first pages of the story. For others, though, that land of enchantment is a resting place, a place to ease back into rest and relaxation.

Put me in an enviroment though where I have to perform some physical function, but have nothing to keep me mentally occupied, and I can't stay awake. It's like, the "energy juice" that keeps me awake is only produced when I'm able to keep myself intellectually occupied.

On another, TOTALLY unrelated note: Sorry the writing has been so sparse here on MyndFood. I've been having trouble staying awake...Is it possible my writing isn't "itellectually stimulating" enough? Even to keep the AUTHOR awake...Oh well...

5 comments:

Matt George said...

I always fall asleep in the car and never during a movie. Maybe your theory has some weight. Keep up the cool articles.

Laurie said...

You are absolutely on target from my experience. I keep a "book on cd" in my car at all times to avoid the empty space of the 7 minute drive to my job. And long car trips....never leave home without a book on cd. I, too, would be asleep before I hit the freeway. I was once pulled over by a cop who saw me reading a "real book" while stopped at the red light. He wanted to warn me about reading and driving. Now I just keep the "books on cds" and no one knows the difference. A.L.

Nan said...

Yes, what my dear brother says is true... you see, I too fall asleep as soon as I get in the car. This has posed to be a BIG! problem in our teenage days when PJ used to drive us back and forth to school in fresno. I would fall asleep everyday on the way home. Well, apparently PJ did too! on day we both were awakened by the jerk of the truck sideswiping a street sign of some sort on the wrong side of the road. SCARY!!!
Ha!ha!ha!

Anonymous said...

PJ,

I have the same problem. Sometime just ask Kim about some of our trips. It dosen't matter if I'm driving or a passenger, but I ALWAYS fall asleep. I guess it's a good thing Greg always drives.

LOVE YA

RUTHIE

Mother said...

I also sleep if I am not driving. But give me a good book and I can stay awake all night. I remember the day you sideswiped the sign. I think your Dad has you all beat. He sleeps all the time, driving,in church, at the computer, etc.
Love Mother