I switch off the mudroom light and slink upstairs. It’s this thing Mom and I do. She doesn’t ask what time I’m coming home anymore. When she wakes up at night and the light is on, she knows I’m still out. When the lights are off, she knows I’m home, safe and sound.
Once upstairs, I feel too tired to change into my jammies and flop onto my bed. Actually, I’m sleeping in my brother’s childhood bedroom because it has a television and I need noise to fall asleep. I know it annoys Mom to find me snoozing away with the TV on when she comes upstairs to shower at 5:00 am. However, I think, now that I live 1,000 miles away and am like the Shamrock Shake, around for a limited time, I get away things I never did before. For instance, the reason I don’t sleep in my childhood bedroom is because I cannot find my bed. It’s buried under the contents of my suitcase, which look like they exploded all over the room. I know this drives Mom nuts, but she never says anything. She simply shuts the door.
My mobile phone beeps and alerts me to a text message. But the phone is in my purse, which is clear across the room and I lack the energy to see who thinks midnight is the appropriate time to text. If it was urgent, I’m sure the person would call, right? And who is still awake at this hour? At 1:00 am EST my friends in New York should be asleep, as should my Minnesota friends, especially since most of them have kids who wake up with the sun. My cousin in Bangalore might be awake but I’m sure we can talk tomorrow.
|Andy Capp's Hot Fries|
mixing inside of me like a sleep aid. When I was an undergraduate architecture student and all throughout my 20s I never slept for more than 3 or 4 hours a night. The life of a design student and the pressure of project critiques didn’t allow for more than catnaps and the inhumane consumption of Diet Coke and Andy Capp’s hot fries. I crammed architectural history into my brain while suffering many a flesh wound --- paper cuts from vellum and knife wounds from where my exacto blade sliced my finger instead of tagboard. It’s tragic that I went through all that, to learn Desi Girl was not a great designer, but writer. And this is how I became an architectural communications and marketing professional.
Frasier comes on and I increase the volume. I’d love to meet a clever, un-athletic, slightly neurotic man who enjoys fine wine and tailored clothes. I snuggle under the covers and let Frasier’s voice lull me to sleep and forget about the text message --- for now.