First in a series dedicated to proving I am undatable.
I can sleep anywhere.
Anytime. Any way. I have slept soundly on the floor of a nightclub waiting for a friend's punk band to finish their set. I have slept soundly, flat on my back in the marble hallway of a busy airport terminal. I have slept on a transcontinental flight from before leaving the gate right until touchdown on the other side of the country. I can catnap in cars, on trains, or on the sofa in my office. I've even fallen asleep on a slow-moving ride at Disney World.
But I can't sleep with somebody else in the bed.
Which certainly means this: No Cuddling. Now, I'm as affectionate as the next person when I'm on my feet. But try and throw an arm around me while lying in bed, and the rest of the night will be spent with my huge unblinking eyes staring into the darkness. I simply cannot sleep soundly with somebody touching me. Or with the potential of somebody touching me.
Oh, I doze off, but not for long. Nights spent with somebody else in my bed are an uncomical series of briefs naps, punctuated by brusque awakenings. I sleep with lots of pillows, usually an oversized one between my knees (for my sore back), and I flop around and move these pillows continuously all night. By morning, I'm usually teetering with half of my body hanging over the edge of the bed, as I've slowly squeezed myself away from the other person. I've had entire relationships collapse because of this. My inability to sleep with another body on top of me (and this includes cats and dogs too, for the record) is usually turned into psychobabble about fear of intimacy or self-loathing and whatever dude, but just get the fuck off of me!
Adding to my sleep issues is my preference of falling asleep with the television on. About half the time I do switch it off just as I start to nod off, but often I don't kill the tube until I wake up for one of my two trips to take a piss during the night. Not surprisingly perhaps, this too has been a sore point with others in the past, as has been my ability to sleep with the lights on, which doesn't bother me in the slightest. I've had boyfriends who were such fiendish light-phobes that they would put electrical tape over the blinding ready-light on my VCR, or they would stuff towels under the crack of my bedroom door to stifle that torturous beam of hallway light.
And finally, somehow in the last 10 years, I have become a morning person. I no longer own an alarm clock, because no matter what time (or in what condition) I fall asleep, I wake up around 6:30am. Some mornings, I'll just lie there and mull the upcoming day until it's time to get ready for work, but most days I'll turn the TV on and watch the morning news. Apparently, watching the 7:00am news or clacking loudly on my computer keyboard or making a bowl of cereal before the sun comes up, is very annoying to most people. But what can you do when you live in a Manhattan-sized studio apartment? It's not like I can go into the other fucking room. I've actually been told that the polite thing to do would be to sit quietly in the dark for the several hours it takes for the other person to wake up.
To recap, sleeping with me means this: no cuddling, lots of moving around, bright lights, television sound, and waking with the sun. See why I'm alone?
(Next: The Eating)