Are YOU Awake?

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Early morning musings


Are You Awake?


It’s 5:30 am on a Wednesday morning. I’ve been awake for a few hours. How about you?


Some of you are. I see a lot of little green dots on Facebook.  So you’re either wide awake and scrolling and posting to while away the wee hours of this pre-winter morning, or you fell asleep last night with your cell phone on and your Facebook profile open.


If today wasn’t a holiday, my boss would be at work already. He’s salaried and usually begins his work day at some ungodly hour when “normal people” are still nestled warmly in their beds.  His wife is up late, or early quite a bit. I see the aforementioned green dot beside her name as I scroll through the endless witticisms and philosophical mutterings of the masses in these predawn hours.


They are not alone in this nocturnal unrest.  I see that same green dot spread across time zones and geography...Alaska, Hawaii, Oregon, California, the midwest, Mexico, Spain... and these are not anonymous Facebook friends.  These are actual people whom I know and love; REAL FRIEND friends.


I’ve had a sleeping disorder for years. On a good night, I get about 4 hours of sleep. I go through my day and come home then, depending upon the physicality of that day, fight to stay awake until 11 o’clock or midnight.  If I go to bed any earlier, I awaken and become fully awake around midnight.  Lord help me If I fall asleep for even a few minutes before...say 8 or 9pm... I will be awake All. Night. Long.


And when I say “fully awake”, what I mean is “W I D E  A W A K E”... not, “I’m gonna roll over and go back to sleep” awake.  This is the “I might as well get up at 3am and vacuum the front lawn” crackhead awake, (only without the crack).  There are too many nights like this, where I give up on sleep and instead attempt to achieve some amount of rest.


I’ve tried sleepy time tea, warm milk, and melatonin chewies. Nothing really helps. I did the home version of a sleep study before I relocated. The only conclusion drawn from that experience was that they wanted to get me into the sleep lab. Unfortunately I moved before they could hook me up to all of their wires and electrodes in a controlled environment.


Why are we all awake?


Some people would argue that advancements in technology and internet awareness have insinuated themselves into our daily lives to the point where we have forgotten that there is an “on/off” switch.


When I was a kid all of the stores were closed on Sunday.  Television broadcasts ended at midnight with the Star Spangled Banner playing and then the television screen going to a test pattern display.


We had three television networks to choose from: ABC, NBC, and CBS. There was no such thing as Dish TV or cable.


This wasn’t any little bodunk town like Mayberry or Petticoat Junction. This was in the booming berg of Anchorage, Alaska where roughly half the population of the entire state lived their daily lives and conducted all of the transactions of their daily business in this one city.


Those were the days.


What happened? When did everything change?


At what point did we get sucked into this ever accelerating spiral of 24-7 market media frenzy of constant sensory and emotional bombardment where every subtle nuance, every reaction, every preference that we exhibit is monitored, recorded, and filed away so that they can later be used to manipulate purchases, donations, political and religious affiliations, what we wear, what we eat, what we believe, and what we teach our children?


Who hit the “fast forward” button on our society and then left it running full tilt bozo in forever mode?


We’re tired but we don’t sleep.


The bulletproof bravado of youth carries us through our 20’s, our 30’s and even our 40’s, but eventually the perception of time changes.


Some might say it speeds up. Others might say it slows down.  The fundamental fabric of time remains intact. It’s our perception that changes. 


Depending upon circumstances, people think that they have too much time on their hands, or that there aren’t enough hours in the day.  But when the witching hour rolls around, a great many of us find ourselves awake, alert, and scrolling.


We’re definitely not sleeping. But are we really awake?

Submitted: November 11, 2020

© Copyright 2020 ShadyBrady. All rights reserved.

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