I remember being a little kid and passing out in random places because I was so tired but refused to go to bed. Kids can sleep anywhere; they don’t seem to get disturbed by noises and movement like adults do. Even though I had a lot of insomnia as a kid I still managed to conk out when I was really beat. As an adult I have stayed up all night watching movies or having those deep heart to heart conversations with someone special; I’ve stayed out drinking and did my fair share of acid that wore me out for two days after; it’s safe to say that in my life I have been really, fucking exhausted from jobs, school and life in general. I taught preschool for two years and nannied an infant with colic so I definitely know that feeling of not wanting to stand anymore or that thought in your mind in the morning saying: call out tired! So we all feel that and we all know it. We know tired.
I thought I knew tired because of all of that. I thought I knew tired driving from the center of Arizona to the beach in San Diego in one day on the 1st of August in what seemed like thousand degree heat. Twelve hours I drove the shittiest car I ever saw with a panting cat in the back seat and when I got to my brother’s apartment I slept so deeply and for so long it was the most refreshing feeling I had ever felt. We all know tired and then we all know that feeling of comfort when you get to sleep so deeply people might mistake you for dead, but you needed it so badly because your bones were tired and your skin was tired and you couldn’t keep your eyes open another second without totally hallucinating. Hallucinatory exhaustion, that’s what it is.
In Madrid I was so bored and so unimpressed with the city that I decided to sleep. I’d been traveling for six weeks and on the move daily, walking, carrying heavy bags, covered in sweat from the heat wave in Europe. My feet ached so badly I had actually sprained one just from walking so much. I passed out in my hostel bed for seventeen hours. I slept through everyone getting up in the morning; through roommates watching TV, drinking wine, laughing, talking, day and night, I slept. When I woke up my roommates told me they almost thought I was dead. But when I woke up I felt so good! I was energized, refreshed and ready to keep walking around and traveling for two more weeks.
So that’s tired. I always thought that’s tired. Until now. Now I really know what tired is. Tired is deep. Tired is sore. Tired is all that I said above but never being able to fully fall asleep and get the relief. Tired is lying on your bed for an hour short of breath, sick to your stomach, wanting for sleep but not getting it. Tired is taking breaks between putting on articles of clothing. Tired is taking a break when you’ve got your underwear half way up. Tired is begging the neighbours who can’t hear you to stop their crying baby who cries all day. Tired is actually considering wetting the bed just because you want to keep sleeping when your bladder won’t stop waking you up every two hours. Tired is using the toilet paper roll as a pillow when you’re sitting on the toilet shitting out your brains every thirty minutes. Tired is tears coming from your eyes at random and not even realizing you are crying or why. Tired is lonely. Tired is fierce. Tired won’t quit no matter how much you beg. Tired is standing in your kitchen washing three plates and wanting to sit down after one. Tired is considering hailing a cab to go three blocks because your lungs and your legs are about to give up. Tired is forgetting what you were day dreaming about. Tired is forgetting what you were hallucinating about. Tired is forgetting what you were saying while you were talking to yourself out loud. Tired is yelling at the dead who aren’t there and actually expecting a response. Tired is being more entertained by staring at a wall than actually doing anything. Tired is wishing friends would call, text, email, show up at your door so you can be distracted by how tired you are. Tired is checking every five minutes to see if they have. Tired is losing track of conversations and words to the point where you have an odd look on your face and when someone points it out you can’t understand why. Tired is not recognizing people you’ve meet several times. Tired is forgetting what you look like even though you see yourself daily. Tired is walking in circles in your own home. Tired is actually fearing you may fall asleep in the bathtub and no one else is there to stop you. Tired is running out of the energy to complete the sentence you are speaking. Tired is resenting your bed for not helping you sleep. Tired is so hazy and so confusing and so uncomfortable. Tired is like a jump suit you can’t unzip and can’t escape from. Tired is a green monster under the bed laughing at you because you have no control over your own life anymore. Tired taunts. Tired mocks. Tired flips you the finger and throws shoes at you. Tired buzzes in your ear while you lie in the dark. Tired is the car alarm across the street that never stops. Tired is the ice cream truck song circling in your ear drum all day. Tired is that muscle that just can’t be satisfied no matter how much you stretch it. Tired is constant. Tired is stabbing. Tired is chapped lips but being too weak to reach five inches to get lip balm. Tired is being so thirsty but not wanting to make the effort to get a glass of water or take a sip. Tired is being afraid to eat because you know you’ll have to get up and run to the bathroom afterward and you’re tired of how much it hurts to shit. Tired is wishing for a slip and fall that might knock you out long enough to let you sleep a while but won’t kill or permanently cripple you. Tired is avoiding walking too close to the edge of the subway platform because you know you aren’t steady enough to guarantee you won’t fall onto the tracks. Tired is fearing your own pillow. Tired is seeing sorrow in the eyes of your stuffed teddy bear because you know he knows you can’t sleep so neither can he. Tired is feeling more tired just looking at the books on your shelf and wishing you had energy to read them. Tired is not even having the energy to read the titles of the books on your shelf. Tired is trying to catch your breath after typing seven words. Tired is writing at 1am and hoping that even though you haven’t truly slept in months you hope that you’re a good enough writer to have written actual words, but being slightly worried all the letters you are putting together are just random garbage and no one else will understand a damn thing this says. Tired is the Sahara desert in your mouth, in your brain, in your soul. Tired is dry. Tired is hot. Tired is empty. Tired is a runny nose you just can’t lift your hand to wipe. Tired is counting the mold spot on the ceiling and pretending they are a star pattern. Tired is waiting for someone else to help you clean the mold off your ceiling because you know you just can’t do it anymore. Tired is wearing the same clothes for days because it takes up too much energy to chose a new outfit and you just don’t want to have to pull open another drawer. Tired is lying in bed for hours sleeping but always knowing you are lying in bed sleeping because you aren’t ever really sleeping. Tired is repeating tasks over and over and over and expecting a different result… yes, tired is insanity… and I am so fucking tired.