Saturday, September 10, 2005

Trouble Sleeping

I've been having trouble sleeping the last few weeks and I don't know why. I think I'm okay, but then I wake up with pangs of stress in my stomach during the night. I'm always so tired when I go to work. The only thing that gets me through the week is the thought of disappearing into a nice long sleep over the weekend. But I end up waking up too early on Saturday and Sunday and I'm not sure why. Something is bothering me, but what?

I frequently have the same recurring dream. I have final exams coming up for classes I didn't even know I had. I had been constantly dropping classes at the beginning of the term and have just found out that I never dropped these particular ones. I panic at the thought of having to learn an entire semester's worth of work in a matter of days, plus the embarrassment of showing up for the final and everyone laughing at me because they've never seen me in class before. I've been out of school for years, but yet I still have this dream. It means I'm feeling unprepared about things. But what am I unprepared for now?

I have a decent enough job, but it drains me. I dread having to get up early five days a week and drag myself to a place where I have to spend the next 8-9 hours. Lately I've been trying to skip lunch so that I can get out early. It leaves me tired and hungry and a bit dizzy.
"I think you have an eating disorder," my co-worker Robert tells me the other day.

"It's not a disorder," I tell him. "I'm choosing not to eat lunch here so I can leave early."

"Well, whatever it is, it's not good for you." And it's not. I've only been eating once a day during the week. Though I guess it is a good way to lose weight.

The people I work with are nice, but I have nothing in common with them. The guy sitting in the cubicle directly across from me, John, is the most boring person I've ever met. He told me he doesn't like movies, doesn't read, doesn't watch television, has never travelled, doesn't go out. He is married, but I don't see what his wife could have found in him that made her say, "this is the one for me."

I'm the type of person who can't just sit quietly at work. I need some stimulation to keep me going. I'll start senseless conversations with John just because he's there.

"Hey, John, did you see that new movie?" I'll ask, already knowing the answer.


"Well, this is what it's about..."

"Hey, John, did you ever read this book by so and so?"


"Well, let me tell you about it."

Sometimes I can tell it annoys him, but hell, he's annoying me with his dullness.

The people I worked with in NYC were far more interesting. I once had a supervisor addicted to heroin. He'd come in all strung out, falling asleep in the middle of conversations. But he was also very well read. I never saw him without a book. We could talk about all types of interesting stuff. Another co-worker at that same job would sell himself in the gay area when he needed more money. But he was also very well read and loved to travel. We could talk about anything. I enjoyed that. The problem was, I didn't enjoy New York anymore. I was very stressed out about commuting to and from the city. I hated rush hour and its resulting animosity on the trains. I had several verbal altercations with strangers about space and seats. That's no way to live life. I also didn't like the fast pace of the city. My wife, Sera, noticed I always walked at least twice as fast when I was in Manhattan. I didn't even know I was doing that. The cold, miserable weather also depressed me there. It was time to leave.

I like Orlando. The weather suits me as does the slow pace of life. But my God, the people I work with are so FUCKING BORING!!! The only people I've been able to relate to at work have been the temps. We once had a temp who used to strip at Rachel's, a fancy strip club here. We'd go out to lunch and talk about everything from stripping and orgies to literature and film. I told her about the contrast between Orlando and New York.

"Look where you work," she said. "You work in a technology department of a large corporation of a conservative city. If you want to find intellectual stimulation you're gonna need to change careers."

She was right. I didn't work in technology back in New York. I bounced around various temp jobs. The other temps were like me--lost and confused, not knowing where exactly they fit in.

Enough for now. It's Saturday. My goal today is to read and work on my novel. I've got to finish it soon, if not this weekend.



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