This entire week, I have been tired. Not the normal “my job is not challenging so my brain is devolving into a primordial mush” tired, but legitimately and totally fatigued. It could stem from my poor sleep as of late; generally I sleep like a proverbial rock but recently the smallest noise or flux in temperature leaves me staring blankly at the ceiling at 3:00 AM.
This morning, my project manager made a point of stopping by my cube to announce with no remorse, “Oliver, you look bad.” Most normal people might be insulted by this, but the language barrier in our office forces one to not take things said at face value. It is a fun but frustrating game to try to discern the true message from an odd selection of seemingly random vocabulary. My assumption this time was that she meant, “tired” but substituted the blanket adjective, “bad” for simplicity’s sake. I suppose it is also entirely possible that I do in fact look “bad” as my dressing and grooming habits have not changed much since I was 12 years old. Let’s just hope the person in charge of paying me is not actually that blatantly mean.
The problem is that this tiredness is not a new thing. I have been battling the grog of morning since my earliest memories of childhood. I hated waking up to go to the airport, even if the ultimate goal was an awesome vacation. I was loathe to drag myself out of bed to go to school, not because I disliked education, but because of my bed-loving, dawn-hating, alternate personality. This is not just a strong aversion to mornings, this is full sleep deprivation inspired schizophrenia. Today, I have finally decided to name my dissociated persona, The Grump.
The Grump (not to be mistaken for the Grinch) is like a crotchety, dim-witted old man who lives in my subconscious, and only has any power over me for a few fleeting minutes right when I wake up. Even if I have had an undisturbed and otherwise restful night, The Grump makes an appearance, trudging around being angry with any/all of the following:
There are many more things that could be added to that list, as the Grump does not discriminate in his morning hate. I have learned to control and even at times forcefully remove the Grump, but there are some mornings when still he catches me unaware.
The Grump is not invincible however, and can be stopped or slowed by using any/all of the following:
-Music (above 130 BPM)
If none of these things are available, the only other option is to wait The Grump out. He normally dissipates after 30 minutes or so, and is best avoided during this period.
There are only 2 mortals who truly know The Grump: Mummy and my Tiffany (Clearly Pandora has also seen him, but apparently there is something in feline DNA that makes them immune to The Grump). These two have faced the beast head-on, and from what I can gather when I regain cognitive composure, actually defeated his rampant pessimism. Normal, non-Grump Oliver would like to apologize to all of those who ever received rude gestures and savage grunts during the hours of 5:30 AM to 8:00 AM.
As of the writing of this post, The Grump has disappeared for the day. My project manager had a close brush with him this morning, but fortunately he had retreated to the depths of my brain before she made her interesting observation. I fear he may resurface soon, but fortunately tomorrow is Saturday, and The Grump has a tendency to sleep in.
Tiffany has pointed out that some cats are in fact vulnerable to The Grump, as seen below: