By Kyra Arndt
There was once a man named Billy Bob Joe. Ol’ Billy spent, on average, eight hours a day – that’s a third of his life – wiggling his toes. Everybody resented this little habit of his, and it caused everybody to view him in a lesser light. Nevertheless, Billy persisted. Now take the example of Suzy Sally Sam. She spends eight hours a day sleeping – thus also wasting a THIRD of her life – yet everybody views her as a saint. This mismatch of attitudes is a fundamental wrong in our society. We put far too much emphasis on sleep. It makes no sense: sleep is capitalism’s worst nightmare – how may one be productive while they are unconscious? Suzy is a useless, lazy, idiotic lass and should be shamed for her sins. Comparatively, Mr. Billy Bob was hard at work, burning calories and increasing toe flexibility. In fact, Billy set a world record for the wiggliest-toes. In her slumber, Suzy could never dream of achieving such a great feat.
Although I am not as eccentric as Bob, I am certainly no Suzy. I have long rebuked my friends’, family’s, and doctors’ cries to set up a regular sleep schedule. I prefer to keep my body on its toes. Oh, sure, I may not be a fancy scientist, and sure, chronic sleep deprivation could have serious affects on my health, and possibly even remove years of my life – but quality over quantity. Besides, I make up for potential lost time with all the hours I steal away from night’s selfish grasp. These hours are spent doing ever valuable activities such as procrastinating on homework (my favorite) and reluctantly doing said homework (not my favorite). Yes, I am without a doubt living the God-intended life of the modern American teenager.
It is not just teenagers who are known to have a rocky relationship with the sandman. Infants are notoriously poor sleepers, and the reputation of these children continues on throughout their early childhood. Young children are rather generous; they will lovingly share their sleepless nights with anybody within earshot. Thus comes the downfall of another demographic: the parent.
Perhaps the chronic lack of sleep has finally caught up with the parent, because parents tend to be extremely vocal about the pains of their deprivation. They often believe they have it the worst out of the aforementioned generations. And who knows –perhaps they do! Perhaps sleepless nights are worse when you are not in control of them. Perhaps parents are even more tired due to the intense stressors of the adult world. Or perhaps the lack of sleep has affected their memory, and they forgot how tired they used to be back in their younger days. The answer to such wonders we may never know, but perhaps (I promise, this is the last time I will use that word) the rejection of sleep should not be a competition. After all, everybody is suffering together. And at the end of the day, what else could matter more?
I feel immensely sorry for any reader still trying to find a worthwhile point in this article. I fear communal suffering is the best one I can supply to you. I hope you have not been following my opinion too closely, for I fear it fluctuates from paragraph to paragraph. One moment I am rejecting sleep and claiming I live better when I run from its embrace, but the next I am lamenting on how dif icult it is for us to be apart from each other. Truly, sleep and I have a complicated and utterly toxic relationship. It is the drug I simply cannot quit (but in this case, it would likely be more harmful for me to quit said drug). There is one thing I can be grateful for – if you do find this article repulsive and incoherent, it is not truly my fault. I am rather tired, and I probably should just go to sleep.
Kyra Arndt is a student at Fillmore Central High School. She is one of 17 area students participating in the Journal Writing Project, now in its 24th year.