“Saturday night is perfect for writers because other people have ‘plans.’”

– Mike Birbiglia



(Not sure what my thing is with comedians lately but writing this made me think of Mike Birbiglia‘s sleepwalk stand-up. Go watch Sleep Walk With Me, its wonderful.)

Basically, I started getting sick a week after I got here (around the time of the last blog post, actually.) It’s been a hella sad life to live; being in a strange place, observing the local culture from the shadows, and trying to pick up what little info I can to survive like some kind of James Bond/Bear Grylls hybrid but with a shittier accent–*pause for coughing fit*

Okay, so I’m not the most subtle person in the library. Or a National Gallery for that matter–especially a cool-ass Hungarian one (Yeah, It’s ass is cool, so what I said it fight me).

I have been coughing up a storm and its been murder on my sleep schedule (and my roommates. Sorry lil’ homies). For the first time in my life, I’ve been sick enough that it’s impacting something as important to me as sleep and that just ain’t* gonna fly.

I’ve slept on hard floors. I’ve slept on inflatable mattresses for months at a time. I’ve slept in cars. I’ve slept on planes. Hell, I even fainted on a plane one time and slept on the floor of a plane for a bit. I’ve slept through hurricanes that rattled my parents artisan Eden Prairie roof. I even used to sleep walk because I had to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night but couldn’t be bothered to wake up.** I’ve slept through carbon monoxide detectors and nearly slept through earth-shattering jostle of a concerned brother when said carbon monoxide detector went off. I slept on a school bus nearly every day for 4 years of high school***. I sleep fucking soundly– like a skinny-white-dude-sized unmovable baby (if babies were made of Melatonin and warm milk).

Seriously, I’m a very sound sleeper.

And yet, I can’t be a sound sleeper if my lungs would rather to exercise the demons every other sentence than just be chill bros. C’mon lung bros, chill. For the first time, I was pushed to the limit. I took NyQuil.

Let me take a moment here for some character development. I grew up in an unorthodox family when it comes to medication. I’m not sure I took any kind of white lab-coated doctor’s prescription drug until I was 18. Honestly, if it happened, it was such a rare occurrence that it didn’t stick with me. I grew up with herbal teas, peppermint oil, vitamin C tablets that tasted like oranges and calcium tablets that tasted like THE DEVIL. When I was 16 I had aspirin for the first time. I’m completely serious. This obviously made taking NyQuil for the first time a novel experience, having only tried Melatonin on a road trip once before. And I didn’t really enjoy that ride. The idea of dependence has already really scared me coming from such a puritan, substance-free household (and when you group Afrin in with Alcohol in the “Substance” department, you know I’m not fooling around). I hold sleep in such high esteem that if I had to rely on something, possibly even scramble to find something to make sure I can get to sleep at night, I’m not sure if I’d be willing to live that life.

Wow, dramatic. But yeah, I don’t like trying new things.

That being said, I took NyQuil twice this week. Not consecutively, lest I be made dependent and thus full of sin, but enough to help me get over the hump of Mt. CoughMore-Asshole. It just goes to show, the only thing I’m only more afraid of than dependency (and flying, obviously) is offending other people or their sleep schedules.

And the result?

Praise jeepers, hook me up, I’m injecting this shit straight into my veins… Okay no I’m probably not going to have anymore since I’m feeling better but dang, that shit is like gold.

And the silver lining: all things in moderation. I balanced my need for body-recovering sleep with whatever side-effects may have been included in my tiny new friends. I’m going to resist taking more tonight and continue moderation because that’s how drugs are meant to be taken. When you don’t abuse them, pharmaceuticals like NyQuil are the closest thing we have to magic. Like, actual magic. I went to bed at 2am and didn’t wake up again till my alarm went off at 9am. Didn’t even shift positions. I went from tormenting coughing fits to a seamless head-lowered-on-pillow-night/head-raised-off-pillow-morning. Sleep is so god damn underrated. So is NyQuil. Or maybe it’s perfectly rated and I’ve never been on it’s Yelp page before.

NyQuil – Real Dreams, Nothing Up Our Sleeves

*Little known fact – “Ain’t” is a contraction of the words “ain’t” and “not”


***I would eventually be known as the kid who would bring a pillow to school


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