As we are all aware, sleep is a pretend construct built to explain what is actually a combination ghost infection and society-wide mass delusion/pan-cultural rite.1 Yet while this is common knowledge, there has yet to be any true concerted effort to fight this oppressive regime. The murderous kleptocracy of sleep, at the altar of which the equivalent of over 2 billion2 people will be taken from us in our lifetimes, must be held culpable.
The following is an excerpt: 10 days from the diary of one very brave individual. A warrior of a kind– not the type with guns and training and impressive self-sacrifice– but a soldier in the war against the tyranny of our own false premises. And in the end, isn’t that just as heroic?3
Come. Let us learn from this shining example:
SATURDAY August 27
2 to 3 hours slept
Cognitive function: adequate; 2 x 2 = 4; 4 x 4 = 16; 16 x 16 = well I didn’t know that to begin with
Physical function: unremarkable; rode exercise bike 10 miles in 36 minutes.
They eventually got me. : ( Had erected a defense network: entented my bed in pink and blue cellophane Easter basketwrap, as we all know holiday anticipation is their #1 weakness. But, apparently, at some point I started suffocating on it. In a fit of pro-survival panic I must have torn it all down. When I woke up my teeth was lousy with Easter grass. Will try harder tomorrow…
SUNDAY August 28
5 hours slept
Cog: slightly daffy, but present; think I called Albert’s mom ‘Aunt Miriam’ at some point. (note: I do have an Aunt Miriam, who she does look like)
Phys: fought a couple bouts of jimmy leg, but otherwise inside normal operational parameters
They tricked me. After failure of Easter basket bed, wore last year’s Hallowe’en costume around house at night. Unfortunately, the video game conference in town rendered my Clyde outfit technically cosplay and therefore non-holiday apparel. Sleep had its way with me and I woke up with my eyes crusted stuck to the inside of Clyde’s blue plastic peepers.
MONDAY August 29
9 hours slept
Cog: Real good, I guess; ugh 16 x 16 = 256; 256 x 256 = 54,036 (if it’s not right I at least had the reserve confidence to assert that it was without hesitation)
Phys: I accidentally did a double backflip; like two backflips in the time it takes to jump and then land. I mean, I’m pretty sure the accident was the fault of having slept so much…
New tact: pure wallpower. Laid there on my bed, protected only by the power of my own mind, taunting Sleep. Taunt accepted.
TUESDAY August 30
1 hour slept
Cog: like an intra-office network– generally functional with bouts of extreme slowdown. For an hour or so, vice versa.
Phys: for the first two hours I was awake, could not grip pen to write; some drool.
This time, unplanned, ended up distracting myself to the point where I didn’t even consider Sleep. Started a game of Civ 4 at 9:30. Next noticed the time at 6 in the morning. A rousing success marred only by the meagerness of the victory celebration: spiked mouse, did air six guns, a 360 (well, 1440) running man into a fell asleep on my feet. Awoke still standing up. Didn’t know that that was a thing that could happen. It can!
WEDNESDAY August 31
net 38 minutes slept
Cog: 7 second delay. The time loss isn’t so bad as much as trying to parse the echoes. Bonus: no cusses.
Phys: a lot of trips and stumbles; 11,000% increase in pratfalls.
Distraction worked so well last time. Thought to do it again but started nodding off in 1-15 second snaps. As in my head would fall and then snap right back. Pressed through, though. Made it through the night having only head-bobbed 217 times.
It is possible, though unproven, that all these head-bobs may have (perhaps) created a lag or skip in my consciousness leading to the 7 second delay experienced throughout the day.
THURSDAY September 1
Cog: 7 second prelay. I can see into the future, but only 7 seconds. Just enough time to feel bad about what is to happen and to gird myself, dodge.
Phys: after adjusting, the smoothest moves this ex has ever laxed.
The problem with distracting yourself is that you know that you are doing it and are therefore hyper-acutely aware of every action you take I tried so hard and became so minutely in tune with every part of every process occurring in my body and in the world around me that – at some point – I ‘flipped the swing’ becoming so undistracted as to first transcend all external stimuli and then ‘swung back’ landing in front of all that happens and now seven seconds in the future I was able to leverage my foreknowledge to effortlessly outstep every molecule of Sleep they had no prayer
FRIDAY September 2
Cog: only produced false memories
Phys: gained powers of flight, an unquenchable thickness.
You guys! I met the most perfect girl. Her name is The Brunette and she also likes the bottom of the sea. I’ve not seen her face, no matter how many times I try to turn her around, but if it matches the rest of her body it must be incredible, delicious.
SATURDAY September 3
Cog: could not distinguish between our thoughts and the thoughts of others; after an hour, notion of Self ceased to have meaning; you see loss of one subjectivity, we see gain of 6+ billion subjectivities.
Phys: acted as instrument of the collective whim; got hit by a car making dinner for a Paraguayan family of eight.
The burner would not light because the stove was actually a stormdrain.
SUNDAY September 4
Cog: I have mastered the Sleep; I now dream waking.
Phys: upon contact, the Sleep explode, expose their ghosts for my control
I am the Dreamchief. As dreams are the exploding ghosts of Sleep releasing their unborn thoughts, my absolute mastery of Sleep has translated into a corresponding flawless calligraphy with dreams. My penmanship is unparalleled. To forge your haunted past, to ink your most intimate desires, to … typeset, I. I’m the DREAMchief, not the prose captain. Now kneel before me and I will allow you to make recreational with [Ellen Page] AND let you in-dream finish.
No pre-coital wake-ups, no desperate bids to sleep perchance to return to the exact same dream you were having when you’re pals with the Dreamchief.
Where I am it is Thursday Now. Was Thursday now will be Thursday, where I am.