Last weekend I moved into a studio apartment. It’s basically a hotel room with a kitchen. My desk is now what used to be my tiny Ikea kitchen table. My closet now holds my $200 jeans and my $50 vacuum and swiffer wet jet. The light from the hallway, the stove clock, and the street keeps my brain confused as to what time of the day it really is. I hear the number 151 bus every half hour. The sun heats up my tiny room to a boil-your-insides point. Every so often, I smell axe body spray, like it is part of the building’s air ventilation system. And my neighbours smoke so much weed that I often question how high I myself might actually be getting. They also listen to so much Evanescence and 50 Cent that I question the quality of drugs they’re getting, but hey, who am I to judge…
I haven’t decided whether or not I actually like the place.
The one thing I do know though, is that this new living space of mine has not helped my sleeping problem. You see, lately, I just can’t sleep. I spend most of my nights, staring at the ceiling worrying about things that will most likely never happen. I think about that thing I said to that guy that one time eight years ago and how awfully embarrassing it was. I think about what I did at work. What I need to do at work. Do I even work tomorrow? What time does my shift start again? Do I have anything in my fridge that I could eat for breakfast? When was the last time I paid my phone bill? What is the weather like right now? Should I wear those ankle boots I just bought or will it not go with the pants I want to wear? Maybe I should start working out. If I fell asleep right now I would get 2.5 hours of sleep. Is that really worth it? Or will I just be more tired than if I got no sleep at all? Should I get up and do something productive? I should write something. How come I haven’t written anything in months? I am a terrible writer. Let’s list all the reasons right now as to why my book idea will never work.
And it goes on. And on. And on…
My lack of sleep has reached that pivotal point where I feel the need to make sure anyone I spend more than a few minutes with has to know how much sleep I have had thus far that week, like it’s some sort of competition. Anytime someone asks me how I am doing I either want to punch them in the face or obsessively complain about how tired I am, because no one has ever been as tired as I am right now don’t you know. My Father will understand. The whole experience has just made me question how far my sanity can truly stretch, and when will it be that my inner jerk finally scratches its way to the surface. If it hasn’t begun to already…
In the last ten months of my life I have done all of the following: broken up my seven-year relationship and marriage, lost a dog, lost a cat, lost a lot of money, lost a lot of belongings, lost a job, lost a friendship, lost myself, and moved four times. Life, for me, has never felt lower.
And it wasn’t until this evening, fully prepared to “try to get a good nights sleep”, that I realized something.
These low points in our lives, however horrible, are only temporary.
Due to lack of sleep, or the fact that I might be a little baked, this realization was monumental. Because at this time last year, I never thought that I would be where I am, doing what I am doing, having the goals that I now have for myself. The life I led two years ago seems like a distant memory, or at the very least a really weird dream. And even though at this point in time I feel like I am swimming, very poorly, with my head nearly under water; I think I can find somewhat of a silver lining for my temporary low.
It’s a cat.
A random cat (who, in all of my creativity, I’ve dubbed Hallway Cat) that continues to show up every now and then meowing at my door or greeting me as I get off the elevator to lick my hand and tear holes in my sweaters. In fact, as I was typing away at this post, I heard a meow coming from the ledge outside my window. I look over, and there is his little face staring back at me. Now let me tell you, Hallway Cat, unfortunately, belongs to the weed smoking, 50 Cent listening, “won’t live down our dream to be a in a frat” boys from down the hall. And so after rescuing him from the ledge and receiving my thanks in the form of a cat claw hole in my $200 jeans, I sent him back on his way to his mystified owners who didn’t even realize he was missing. For some reason, Hallway Cat was happy to be home.
You’re probably wondering how this is a silver lining.
You see, Hallway Cat lives his life with a bunch of assholes who listen to In Da Club on a regular basis. And I live my life next to a bunch of assholes who listen to In Da Club on a regular basis. But they feed him, and every now and then for me, I can feel like there is a little someone out there who comes to me when they need help finding their way back home. It’s nice.
And while I have had some trouble these last few months getting the words onto paper (or post), I can honestly say that I have never before felt like I have so much to say, and I can’t wait to get back to writing it all down.