I have highly irregular sleeping patterns, which involve phases of sleeplessness alternated by phases of sleepmania. Today I was struck by an episode of the latter. I went to bed at five am, which is pretty much my usual hour when I’m working. I work at nights because I’m an owl (or a vampire, but shh). I won’t admit that I wasn’t working this time but binge watching a rather disappointing TV series. Like I never said it.
In my sleep, I constantly kept on hearing the screaming of ambulances. I live next to a hospital, so a moderate amount of ambulance sirens is to be expected, but today there seemed to be two or three times more than the average. While still sleeping, I was wondering what the hell (or heaven, if you prefer) was going on. Is it an international suicide day and I’m missing it? Or are we being invaded by the Soviets? I mean, it already happened once (Warsaw Pact, 1968), and I hear the Russians have enduring interest in recruiting new territory.
I could also hear my neighbour very insistently hammering into something. That would make all the sense if we were in the process of being occupied. In my mother tongue, martial law translates literally as tent law, so I was imagining there were ambulances and tanks in the streets, martial law had been declared, and the neighbour was busy pitching up his tent. Why, yes, I am capable of complex conspiracy theories when I’m sleeping.
Twelve hours later, I woke up. Well, that was a nice nap, about a day longer than I anticipated. It was dark outside, and I was quite disoriented. Of course, if I were asked on the spot to transcribe someone’s recklessly complied bibliography from barbarian into Chicago Style, I could do it with my eyes still closed. But otherwise I wasn’t sure of my name or number. (In my country, people are numbered—it’s called the birth number and it’s similar to US social security number.)
I checked and discovered that nothing interesting apparently happened while I was indisposed. That is, not counting that my cat missed me so much that I couldn’t get her off me when I got up. Also, meanwhile, she peed outside of the litter box. The little bastard. I will allow the benefit of doubt and will assume that it was an accident.
Outside, there was darkness visible because the street lights stopped working. I could see no tents though (I was using the lighted end of my cigarette as a flashlight), so I decided there was no martial law after all. I already concluded that I missed absolutely nothing by sleeping the whole day, and I was starting to think that I could do it again. Then I happened to see the news that there was a prank bomb call in my town, which resulted in prolonged sweeps and police maneuvers. That of course explains the sirens. The prank didn’t amuse me.