The Nap

The WebX meeting drones on, Shelia from HR outlining the third phase protocol of facilitiy reopening, once phase two has cleared, pending the go ahead from the individual team leaders but not until after…..when you catch yourself drifting off with a snort of a snore.

You look longingly at the couch, just a meter away.
Ah, to stretch out, mid day and- if even just for a moment- slumber.

And so a new generation has discovered the joy that musicians, toddlers and other day drinkers have known about all along: the nap.

Oh, you’ve been a good sport, all this work from home stuff.
Sitting through meaningless PowerPoint presentations and corny Zoom birthday parties for Jason down in Contracts.
That you are only wearing pajama tops and terrycloth skorts is small consolation as the day reaches 2pm, and you suddenly catch your head slipping off its axis, nodding like a novelty sippy bird.
But you resist, pop another RedBull. Go to sleep during the day, me?

What ya need is a nap.

Oh, I’m not talking about those sweaty 90 minute affairs that wreck your Saturday.
Where you bolt upright, clammy from the vivid nightmares that haunt deep daytime sleep.

See, all ya need is 25 good minutes of shut eye, a quick reset of the day.
What can be more luxurious than to take a break mid day, to simply give ourselves a moment of graceful rest.
Shut ourselves out of the scary clatter, disconnect from the insane digital trash we have injected into our every moment of consciousness.
We draw the blinds, lay down in a room darkened and cool.
And shut our eyes.

That’s the ticket.

Kindergarten, do they still nap?
That was a charming and somewhat creepy tradition we could probably not get away with today.
A roomful of toddlers strewn across the floor, faces pressed into the synthetic toxicity of a filthy rug, the unsupervised supervision of a single adult watching over 25 unconscious minors.

The Asian community has long seen the value of laying head down on desk.
No shame here, people. More like plugging in the phone for a bit, letting the little flashing lighting bolt of sleep recharge the inner lithium.

The closet alcoholic goes out to his van at lunch, a cheerful little respite after nipping off a half pint of Canadian Club all morning. He’s back at the desk at 1pm bright as a nickel, ready to tackle those spreadsheets until it’s time for Happy Hour at El Torito.

Passed Out. Napping.–who’s to say? It’s all semantics officer.
And besides the keys weren’t even in the ignition.

If that’s the case, Kimm and I have been guilty of only catnaps at 3am, holding up the line at Del Taco.

But traveling with an aging punk band, oh baby.
That’s where naps are not only beloved, but necessary as Wet Ones and backstage WiFi passwords to the touring musician.
Fuck soundcheck, brother.
We’ll be back at the Quality Inn, riding those semen paisleyed comforters like champs, blissfully asleep until downbeat.

On those rare occasions we all have to share a day room or perhaps an upstairs apartment above the venue in Europe, it is a race to see who goes down for the nap first. The loser of this contest is usually cheated out of his nap, subjected to the symphony of syncopated snoring and farting that soon fills the room.

It is an enviable talent to be able to shut down instantly, like a machine.
Anthony of course has been known to fall asleep mid sentence, deep into REM before the flight attendant has even finished holding the oxygen mask in front of her face.
In the van, Ant can only be counted on for just a brief conscious moment: getting his place in the back of the van before making a canine circle of the best seat and immediately drifting into slumber.
Bunk mate Nick just looks over at him, envious, and silently pulls out the Bose noise cancelling headphones in preparation for the hurricane of snoring that will soon flood his vicinity.

Back when the band was in its hard drinking days, we’d pull into town and meet the locals for a jolly lunch.
Our reputation precedes us, and old friends have been dying to show us what’s new in town.
The decent Churrascaria , or maybe that bar with the good jukebox–hell, they persuaded the owner to open early, just for us.

And what’s this? Hah! An actual beer bong? You guys!

In the guise of good humor, we’d ingest everything put in front of us.
Waddle through a hilarious soundcheck and then its bed time.
How many times have nervous promoters called the agent back home, the support band blasting away in the background, wondering just where the hell we were.

Up and back into moldy clothes, back into the van and back to the venue with the second hangover of the day.
A couple shots of Jaeger to get back in the groove, play the gig and then drink enough to get back to sleep, ready to do it again, then again.
Good times.

A bit more sleep. I propose it’s what we’ve all been yearning for.
We have become discontent, ready to shout ourselves hoarse over natural difference of opinion.
I hear you.
We’re all scared, we’re all pissed.

What we have become, is cranky.

And what do we say to all cranky children, hmmm?
Somebody needs a nap!

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