In the middle of a gruelling inventory at work. I've been through close to thirty of these and this has been by far the most taxing. Usually grocery inventories involve one or at most two overnight shifts. This time I'm in the middle of five, every one of which has been or will be packed. For reasons too arcane for me to explain or you to care about, I have one night off in the middle of this five night stretch--which is something that has never been done to me in the course of a few hundred lifetime graveyard shifts. It's not easy. I ended up having a long nap last night from 9 until about 3:30. Given the extra hour as the clocks went back, that was longer than I intended to sleep but probably still not as much sleep as I needed. I plan to have another long nap this afternoon, and I hope that'll get me through the night. I hope. All hail Red Bull.
This megadose of caffeine to wake up and sleeping pills to come down is not the way I want to live my life. But without the caffeine I'm a zombie and without the sleeping pills I run the risk of collapsing from exhaustion the way I did last March. (Even with the sleeping pills, last night marked the first time I'd managed more than five hours of consecutive slumber.) I'm just not a night person.
Last weekend saw two friends married. We all went to high school together. He had a crush on her--as did I and I suspect about thirty other guys--and she was amiable but that's it. Twenty years and about six lifetimes later for both of them, they reconnected on Facebook, starting dating, and lo and behold, a marriage I used to joke with him about is now a happy reality.
That same day we met some friends for the first time. I first knew the woman as 'flameskb' and we've been e-friends for, wow, almost seven years now. (For almost four of those years I didn't even know her name...how odd is that? Probably not as odd now as it would have been when I was much younger.) Anyway, we met for dinner at the Prince Albert's Diner, a joint featured on You Gotta Eat Here!, which is Canada's version of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. The food was pretty good and I think we hit it off well. Her partner's a budding comedian and a good one.
Between the wedding and the dinner, my week has been suitably brightened.
Friends really do make for a life worth living. That's not a new sentiment, even to me, but it hits home every now and again with a joyous clunk, that satisfying sound you hear when the car door closes firmly and all's right with the world. (Forgive the wandering metaphors: these night shifts have me somewhat scatterbrained.) I wish more of my friends lived closer, is all. Many of them haven't left the city we all grew up in. I'd move back there in a heartbeat, life permitting, except the crime rate seems to have exploded since I called London home.
Oh, well, Facebook may be a poor substitute for face-to-face, but it's at least a substitute. There's no substitute for friendship.
Or sleep. Once again, this blog's epigram, something I'd put on my tombstone if I ever bother with one:
I have lived and I have loved;
I have waked and I have slept;
I have sung and I have danced;
I have laughed and I have wept;
I have won and wasted treasure;
I have had my fill of pleasure;
And all these things were weariness
And some of them were dreariness--
And all these things, but two things,
Were emptiness and pain:
And Love, it was the best of them,
And Sleep, worth all the rest of them,
Worth everything but Love to my spirit and my brain.
--Charles Mackay (1814-1889)