I was tidying up this evening, getting ready for another all-night editing marathon with Parker when I found them. I saw them lying there next to my pillow, and at first I didn’t understand. Why? What in God’s name could they mean?
Then the memories came flooding back.
I’m still adjusting to the late-night editing schedule. Last night, as practice for tonight, I stayed up until 6:00 in the morning. Then I set my alarm for 1:15, put on my brand-new copy of Dr. Strangelove and went to bed. What happened next was nothing short of extraordinary.
I should preface this by saying that I have been known to do some unusual things when I’m barely awake, but this one beats them all.
I awoke to the haunting strains of “We’ll Meet Again” and the flashes of nuclear explosions on my monitor. Harsh, hot sunlight flooded in through the gaps in my bamboo window shades. I sat bolt upright, and grabbed my watch. I think it was around 8:20, but I can’t be sure because the numbers on my watch were spinning around crazily. Deciding for some reason that I was grievously late to return to my editing (and, because I lacked simple subtraction skills, unable to determine that I had only slept for two hours), I fought my screamingly tired eyes and got up.
This was my first mistake.
I stumbled over to my computer (this was made difficult by the fact that two hours earlier, realizing that I probably wouldn’t want to wake up with only six hours of sleep under my belt, I had put my alarm clock on the other side of the room and built a makeshift barricade out of furniture to prevent me from quickly turning it off and going back to bed) and did something (I think I may have installed some software), and then realized that I wasn’t wearing my glasses, without which I literally cannot see. I lurched back to my bed and grabbed my glasses case.
Only my glasses weren’t in my glasses case.
Unfortunately, something shaped vaguely glasses-like was.
I’ve got those magnetic clip-on sunglasses, and they stay in a little bag inside my glasses case. I saw them there and went into what is perhaps the closest thing to a bloodlust I have ever experienced. I snatched the bag out of the case and feverishly undid the velcro latch. I snatched the clip-ons and stood up, holding them daintily up to my eyes with the thumb and forefinger of my right hand:
After looking around for a moment and realizing that my vision hadn’t improved, I realized that I still didn’t have my ACTUAL GLASSES. I panicked. I might never see again. I searched frantically, and eventually found them lying on top of a book. I put them on and fumbled for a moment until successfully attaching my clip-ons to them. I stood up again (I think I might have actually stood up on my bed), only to realize that everything was brown for some reason.
It was then that I suffered an epiphany.
“Wait a minute!” I thought, “I don’t need SUNGLASSES!”
Some more fumbling and they were removed.
“WAIT A MINUTE!” I thought, “I’VE ONLY HAD TWO HOURS’ SLEEP AND THERE’S NO GOOD REASON FOR ME TO BE AWAKE RIGHT NOW!”
My eyes were unendingly grateful to my brain for finally realizing this. They went shut right away. As I lay back down in bed I tossed my clip-ons carelessly next to my pillow, where I found them no more than an hour ago and remembered this whole saga.
And there’s nothing much I gained from this experience, other than the knowledge that thank God I’m not an on-call surgeon. And you can be thankful that you’re not one of my hypothetical 4 A.M. patients.