This is the first entry in what will hopefully become an immense and historically unprecedented catalogue of naps. I hope this feature will be a frequent occurrence here on Crosswords, both for your sake, since you will all no doubt be endlessly entertained by my brilliant talking-about-naps abilities, but also for my sake, because it will mean I’m taking a lot of naps.
It seems fitting to begin in a realm where naps run rampant, unmitigated by typical societal restraints: the holiday vacation nap recap.
CHAPTER ONE – The Slow Descent to Leisure
The action began with Plane Ride Nap #1. Shaygo and I had ambitious plans for the journey, including watching a DVD, playing a card game, and reading books. Plane Ride Nap #1 was the first step in banishing those plans to oblivion. Difficult to gauge the time, but it lasted somewhere in the range of 20-40 min, and let me tell you, it never felt so good to crash while in an airplane.
(pause for laughter)
Woke up feeling relaxed, suffering from the naïve delusion that I would do some stuff. Then came Plane Ride Nap #2. I felt #2’s delicate hand guiding me toward sleep-land, as the Nap Gods gently closed my eyes. I resisted, screaming “NOOO!” (just in my mind, of course), fearing #2 would be a shabby attempt to recapture the glory of #1, leaving me groggy and with a headache. Like Jonah, I fled from my duty, trying desperately to keep my eyes open, but was quickly swallowed by a Nap Whale that took me slowly toward unconsciousness. Surprisingly, #2 was a lovely continuation of #1, more than a coda, an entire second movement expanding upon the relaxations of #1, taking it to a whole new level of comfort. Shaygo and I accomplished virtually none of our plane ride goals, and yet . . . it seemed like a whole lot was accomplished.
CHAPTER TWO – CHRISTMAS DAY
The presents had been opened. Wine had been drunk. Turkey consumed. I don’t subscribe to the Tryptophan myth. As I understand it, scientific evidence indicates that Turkey doesn’t actually contain enough Tryptophan to generate sleep-inducing effects. After the meal, though, when someone made a joke about “Tryptophan setting in” I didn’t argue the point and let it slide – I had more important things to do . . .
My 2 hour mammoth Christmas nap is the reason vacations were invented. It could be considered a continuation of the Plane Ride Naps (see Chapter 1 for description). Though distanced in time by a few days from the Plane Ride Naps, when viewed as a whole, this triplet marks my slow descent into unequivocal vacation crash mode. Shaygo, it should be noted, had been taking 2 hour naps essentially every day since the beginning of our vacation, and it was lovely to join her in what could be referred to as Nap Mayhem 2007. The season of giving officially became the season of taking . . . naps, that is.
(pause, adjust tie during cold silence)
CHAPTER THREE – The Bittersweet Nature of Impermanence
Two days before our departure I sat in the living room. The television was showing a football game that I wasn’t watching, people were sitting around, talking, reading magazines, monkeys were running around like maniacs. My thoughts turned to what lay ahead. A return to the subway commute, the biting cold air, that woman at work who irrationally hates me for no particular reason, sleep deprivation. With the knowledge of vacation’s conclusion at the forefront of my mind, my eyes closed, and I slipped into a quick 20 minute-er.
This nap stood on its own. A one act for sure, but like Pinter’s Ashes to Ashes, replete with intensity. Its power rested in my knowledge that the daily grind would prevent its frequent repetition. Bitterness and sweetness coexisting. The yin-yang of nappery.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not some lazy aristocrat napping on the cushion created by the drudgery of the proletariat. I nap hard because I work hard. The intervals between Nap Alerts may be substantial, as naps and "life" prove frequently to be bitter enemies. Who knows, though, perhaps some day soon on the subway I’ll succumb to the more lethargic angels of my nature and dose off between subway stops.
One things’s for sure…
The next time I nap, you’ll be the first to know.