Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Nap Nostalgia

Today's acute exhaustion got me thinking about naps: the best, the worst, the totally mediocre. Wait: does a mediocre nap exist? It seems to me that naps are either awesome, leaving the napper totally satisfied/refreshed/ready to face the world!, or that they're total shit. Some of you will disagree with me on this point, but late-afternoon-into-evening naps fall into the latter category. I hate falling asleep as the sun is fading and waking up in the dark: the disorientation I face totally outweighs any benefits of added sleep. I don't have quantitative data to back up this assertion, but late-afternoon-into-evening naps also cause me to become overheated*, a factor that further lessens the naps' appeal.

Some of my best naps took place in Seymour Library (pictured above). Senior year, thanks to my decision to complete an Honors Project, I had a private office on the library's top floor. Sparsely furnished though it was (the only pieces of furniture I had were a chair, a lamp, and a large table), the office was cozier than the sum of its parts. I found such joy in having a place that was completely my own -- a rare thing in college -- and I loved the security that came with a locking door. It's strange: Knox was a relatively safe place -- really safe, even -- so I'm not sure why I derived such pleasure from being able to lock my office door. I think perhaps I relished the fact that I could isolate myself: that no one could actually reach me, should I not want to be reached.

Annnnnnnyway: napping. I took some damn good naps in that office. Yes, I'll admit that, beyond the standard-issue furniture, the only other things I had in my office were mustard packets (for grab n' go subs), some pens, a fleece blanket, and a pillow. The fleece blanket wasn't even mine; indeed, I am to this day clueless re: its origins. But the blanket was thick and, when folded onto itself, made a decent mattress. After long stretches of writing or revising (or just staring at the blank wall, identifying micropatterns in the abraded paint), when my eyes would droop, I'd fold my blanket, spread it across the table, and "rest my eyes." I never napped for more than an hour, though I was once startled by a friend who roused me from slumber by knocking on my door. I'd meant to meet her for dinner but, lacking an alarm clock, slept through the date.

I miss that office. I miss the total seclusion the space offered, and I miss the absence of stuff. I'd like to have a table, three pens, and a few mustard packets.

Totally unrelated: I would cut off my arm for a hot ham and cheese sandwich. It's been years (YEARS) since I've had one. Whence came this craving? (Note: This is a true "cheese sandwich" post, LOLZ.)


*Which phenomenon may owe to the fact that I sometimes nap in my clothes.

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