Tuesday, May 18, 2010

I'll sleep when I'm dead.

"I'll sleep when I'm dead" came to mind at 3:30 am as I tried to subside my rage at what I imagined to be a harmless immigrant collecting glass and plastic from the recyclables and hauling them noisily to the neighboring building to reduce, reuse, repeat in their blue bin. When what I imagined to be his black durable garbage bag began to fill too close to the brim, he proceeded to drag the clanging trash back to his car (in the alley of my building), start the engine, let it lull, and then drive away. I don't mean to sound devoid of emotion for a fellow human being having to collect trash before sunrise...everyone knows once the sun rises it's anyone's game...capitalism for god's sake...but for my sake, this may have been the first night I would have had two uninterrupted REM cycles in the past three weeks.

The quote "I'll sleep when I'm dead" was conceived by Warren Zevon, a rock and roll musician, whose prime came in the 70's and 80's and who, unlike me, had more of a problem with booze and FOMO (fear of missing out) than loud, flamboyant gays, construction workers, car alarms, and obnoxious neighbors. For him, there was "so much to do... on the farm"; for me, there is too much noise on the farm. I didn't discover the origins of this famously repeated phrase until this morning when I tried to make sense of the last three weeks.

Until yesterday, I had crows outside my window beginning my morning wake up at 6:30. For weeks I had been subjected to their "Koww, koww, koww, koww" (if you ever meet me in person, I would be more than happy to mimic the sound as I have it down pat). Morning, after endless morning, I believed the groundhog had seen its shadow and Bill Murray was lying in bed with me. "I got you babe" would play in the form of crow music and I unfortunately did not have an alarm clock to smash... or love interest to effortlessly charm with my knowledge of the previous day. I WAS ANGRY. FURIOUS even. But maddening as these ominous birds were, I knew there was a reason for their incessant nagging. Sunday morning I woke up (at 6:30 am) from a rather pleasant dream where my current crush has left her significant other and finally found her way to my arms. Of course the crows were chirping and as I lay there, enthralled by my night's reverie, I accepted those crows and all their shortcomings, because "if you can’t beat them, join them" and I knew it was time. I told my roomie about this Sunday morning catharsis and she replied with Discovery Channel-esque information that fascinated me in that moment and stunned me the next day- crows feed off energy. And sure enough, my energy toward them had been negative. They have an uncanny ability to recognize human faces and transmit information about "bad" humans by squawking.

Come Monday morning I woke up on my own accord, at 6:45, a natural habit at this point, to discover a caw-free air. I rested there, eyes open, eyes close, listening for my friends and their morning musings. However, by 7:10 I couldn't help but smile and pray that that smile wouldn't jinx the whole situation. Fingers crossed, it hasn't thus far.

My acceptance of what was, lead to the disappearance of what had been. Simple philosophy, hard to put to practice, but worth it if you do...  And if all else fails, i.e. this morning's trash-capade, get a prescription for Ambien CR and say "fuck you" Edgar Allan Poe and your "Nevermore".




  1. I also suffer from a moderate case of FOMO.

  2. Crows are very wise. I wish I could tell them apart.