The Pros and Cons of Exhaustion

wpid-wp-1436632202867.jpegI just finished another short story, which I’ll be sending the submission rounds next week. Thursday nights I volunteer in a nearly three-hour ESL class. I work part-time, and I am taking three classes this quarter. Count them. Three. My fiancé and I are also busy wedding planning. And sometimes there’s time leftover to clean the cats’ litterboxes and maybe wash my face. It’s a blast to get to do everything–and I do mean EVERYTHING–I love. But there are tradeoffs. Like sleep.

The Cons:
1. No more quiet time for you!
I am an introvert. My natural state is to sit alone and never, ever speak to other human beings. I am very happy in that state. I feel calm and energized. All this being around people 24/7 drives me nuts. But on the bright side, I have figured out exactly how psychokillers are made. (New word; make it a hash tag: #psychokillers)

2. I get really angry about weird things.
I mean, it’s weird to look at a stranger’s roughed-up loafers and want to beat their shoes against the curb until they cry uncle, right? It’s weird. But those tongues curl back from the guy’s ankles, and I feel like they’re doing it on purpose. Just to piss me off.

To any parents out there, I don’t know how you work and go to school AND raise your kids. I have absolutely no idea because I barely brush my own teeth. My eyes feel like empty holes someone peeled open. I stand at a tilt like a swabbie who hasn’t got her sea legs yet. I open my mouth sometimes, and jibber-jabber comes out.

The Pros:
1. I’m too tired to care.
Actually, this is the only benefit I can think of. But it’s a biggie. I’ve always been a little too self-conscious for my own good. So it’s a beautiful thing to just not give a shit. I swear with reckless abandon. I pair Converse sneakers with summer dresses. And when I get out coherent syllables, they tell the truth. Before I can think about it. It’s liberating, and if you’re paralyzed by shyness, sleep deprivation may be your cure.

But then again, maybe not. Because it’s like being drunk. When you sober up after a good eight hours, you’ll still be very anxious that your Converse sneakers scream to the world that you’re one step away from being a homeless schizophrenic. Or at least, I will be. Who knows about you? Maybe you’ll keep hearing this high-pitched buzzing sound that I should have added to the cons list–if only I had remembered. Did I mention, too, that your memory dries up?

Published by M.C. Easton

Novelist and teacher.

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