Alexandra Duncan

Science Fiction. Fantasy. Feminism.


I don't know what's going on, but lately, as it gets dark earlier and earlier in the evening, I find myself stonking out on the couch hours before I would normally go to sleep in my bed, like human beings do.  This seems to happen every winter, and no matter how much I fight it, I can't stop it.  My late fall/winter evenings tend to go like this:

6:30 p.m. - Work is over! I have the whole evening ahead of me!

7:00 p.m. - Look at me run. . . er, power-walking on this treadmill and reading a book at the same time.  I'm multitasking!

7:30 p.m. - Hungry. . . so hungry. . .

8:00 p.m. - SOUP!

8:30 p.m. - The sun has been down for a few hours and my apartment has turned into the the ice planet Hoth.  Find slippers.  Find giant fleece bathrobe I got from the men's department at Target, because apparently the makers of women's bathrobes don't think we need anything covered below our knees.  Don bathrobe, slippers, and several blankets.  Station self on couch with library school text book and highlighter.  Time for studying!

8:35 p.m. - Cats appear and fall asleep on me/textbook.

8:40 p.m. - Finally manage not to be bone-achingly cold.

8:45 p.m. - Head-drooping falling-asleep thing. Accidentally highlight random words in a vertical line on the page. The cats look so peaceful, all curled up with their tails over their noses.  Maybe a little nap wouldn't hurt. . .

8:50 p.m. - No! Must finish homework!  Reread passage on business directories several times without understanding anything.

9:00 p.m. - Wake up with highlighter stains on my hands, textbook on the floor, and cats using my head as a staging ground for their latest mutual bath.  Give up and fall asleep on the couch.

9:45 p.m. - Jeremy: "Are you going to sleep out here again?"
Me: "No, of course not. I'm just taking a nap."
Jeremy: "Okay, do you want me to wake you up in half an hour?"
Me: "Okay."

10:15 p.m. - Jeremy: "Hey, wake up."
Me: "Meh-muh."
Jeremy: "Seriously, wake up."
Me: "Hrrrrrnnnnn. . ."

10:30 p.m. - Jeremy: "Hey, you told me to wake you up!"
Me: "Wha. . .? Why are you doing this to me?! You're so mean!" (falls asleep again)

1 a.m. - Jeremy: "Okay, I'm going to bed.  Are you going to sleep out here?"
Me: "Hhhzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzznnnnn. . ."

This literally seems to be out of my control.  It's as if I have bear or raccoon or hedgehog metabolism, and my body is slowing down for the winter.  I can't think of any other explanation for it.  It wouldn't be so bad if I could wake up skinny and craving fresh salmon in the spring, but no, I'm expected to FUNCTION all winter long.  I'm supposed to DRIVE A CAR and BUY GROCERIES and KEEP MY HOUSE CLEAN, when all my brain wants to do is hunker down in its den for the winter.  On the plus side, though, if I can stay awake during normal human hours all winter, I'm far less likely to be hit with animal control tranq darts when I finally wander out in the spring.

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