A Complex Pinot Noir of Nervous Laughter Displaced By Expressions of Disbelief and Condescension

Mark Slouka: “Not long ago, at the kind of dinner party I rarely attend, I made the mis­take of admitting that I not only liked to sleep but liked to get at least eight hours a night whenever possible, and that nine would be better still. The reaction – a complex Pinot Noir of nervous laughter displaced by expressions of disbelief and condescension – suggested that my transgression had been, on some level, a political one. I was reminded of the time I'd confessed to Roger Angell that I did not much care for baseball. ¶ My comment was immediately rebutted by testimonials to sleeplessness: two of the nine guests confessed to being insomniacs; a member of the Academy of Arts and Letters claimed indignantly that she couldn't re­member when she had ever gotten eight hours of sleep; two other guests de­clared themselves grateful for five or six. It mattered little that I'd arranged my life differently, and accepted the sacrifices that arrangement entailed. Eight hours! There was something willful about it. Arrogant, even. Suitably chastened, I held my tongue, and escaped alone to tell Thee.”

I get a lot of sleep compared to a lot of my friends and colleagues, though any type of schedule does not really exist. It's rare for me to get less than 8 hours of sleep in a 24-hour period, but that 8 hours is often broken up by naps and late-night deep sleeps. This has got to change. Not the amount of sleep, though. That I am very happy with.

If I had any idea on how to accomplish a rational sleep schedule, I'd implement it immediately. Such is the nature of my work and the geographic location of some of my online friends that sticking to a schedule of any kind rather difficult. I did read half of a book a few years ago that taught me what I already knew, i.e. the value of a good night's rest.