Day 116: Siesta day.

The Book wanted me to nap from about 11 this morning to about 2 this afternoon – as an “experiment with the concept of siesta.”

Napping is not something I have to experiment with: I love naps. In a perfect world, I would nap every day after lunch. Not three hours – although sometimes a ridiculously long nap is wonderful – but half an hour. Maybe 45 minutes. Just enough to get past that post-lunch drowsiness (and I’m always a bit drowsy post-lunch, because lunch always involves a few glasses of wine or beer).

This is not a perfect world, though, and I almost never get to nap. There’s always something to do – as if taking a nap isn’t doing something – and on those occasions when I think there’s actually not something to do, when I might actually be able to get away with taking a short nap, something requiring urgent attention materializes, usually about 60 seconds after I’ve lain down and gotten comfortable. If not that, then the children appear from wherever it is they are when I’m not paying attention to them, and demand that I not be asleep. The children hate for me to be asleep: they don’t want me to be happy, and sleeping makes me happy, and so they are constitutionally incapable of letting me sleep – during the day or at night.

There’s always something to do that gets in the way of napping: today, instead of having a siesta, I had conferences with my students about their final papers. I tried to zone out, to not really pay attention, to ‘sleep on my feet’ – but they kept talking to me, kept asking me questions, kept wanting me to read things, blah blah blah. Some of them didn’t even get the hint when I laid my head down on my desk and made snoring noises. By the time the last conference was over – around two in the afternoon – the optimal time for napping had passed. Damn kids.

I tried to make the best of a bad job, though, and did some things to try and wake myself back up, things that I thought might have similar effects to a nap: I had some coffee, I took a short wander around campus, I yelled at some people, I waded in one of the fountains, I looked at pictures of cats with funny captions on the internet — and then I was ready to work.

And by “work” I mean write this post; I do have a paper to work on, but all that “waking myself up” made me tired, and I don’t want to think and/or write anymore.

I think I’m going to have a siesta, instead.


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