Holiday Hibernation

13 12 2011

I’ve been sleeping a lot lately. Much more than even I am accustomed to. I’ve always had a passion for sleeping, which has aggravated my mother to no end.

“You’re sleeping you’re life away!, John!!,” she would declare when I would come home from college and stumble downstairs around two in the afternoon.

One year I spent the holidays with my aunt Tammy and uncle Doug in Montgomery, Alabama and took a job at the neighborhood Winn-Dixie, working the “graveyard” shift. I was part of a stocking crew that would arrive at the store as they were closing the doors to the public. We usually worked from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. and, as I remember we had a supervisor who was a real joy to be around. Sarcasm fully intended.

Looking back, I can understand why he was such a jerk to me. I was the college kid, working a few months to have some spending money for the next semester. And he was a small man in stature, and having found a smaller person to boss around was surely a delight for him.

I do not remember his name, only his chain smoking habit and coke bottled glasses. This will be the last I write of him.

So after working the graveyard shift, I would come home and eat breakfast and then go to bed. This seemed to aggravate my aunt Tammy, who was pregnant at the time and experiencing the lonely housewife blues.

My uncle Doug even gave me the nickname “Rip” — short for Rip Van Winkle.

When people often remark how young I look for my age, I usually credit the complement with my many years of sleep.

“I’ve slept a lot,” I tell them.

And it is the truth. The last two months, I’ve no doubt been horizontal much more than I have been vertical.

David calls it a destructive pattern. He’s probably right.

I’m over living in Panama City, I’m over being unemployed, I’m over being broke and I’m over fighting losing political battles.

So I have gone inward and slept. And slept. and slept some more. Each day waking with dwindling hope for the future.

I realize only I can break this behavior and, thankfully, there is incentive. David and I will spend Christmas in Port St. Joe with my parents and little brother who is bringing his young and growing family down from Alabama. Being around his new baby girl should brighten the holidays.

And then there is a blast from the past arriving soon.

Bjork, a longtime friend, from my Texas years, is coming to visit at the end of the month. He lives in England now and is a college professor. We haven’t seen each other in nearly five years and it will be exciting to catch up as Bjork has arranged for a short sidetrip to New Orleans, providing a refreshing change of scenery.

And I shall be well rested for the occasion.




2 responses

13 12 2011
Don Harris

BTW, I hope Dave’s shingles is better. I meant to say something last time and didn’t get a chance. I know several people who have had that, and it is truly miserable.

14 12 2011
david altermatt

Great piece John. Hope you can wake up to write some more. I love you.

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