Monday, July 30, 2007

The time I stayed up all night playing Theme Park Roller Coaster

After building another roller coaster, hiring more costumed entertainers and squashing a balloon animal makers strike, Melanie looked at the clock and noticed it was 5 a.m. She’d been up all night playing Theme Park Roller Coaster on her PlayStation 2. Well, no matter, it wasn’t like she had anywhere to go. No job means not having to get up early the next morning, and not caring what time you go to sleep. But if she continued on this way, she might totally reverse her sleep schedule and then when she did get a new job it’d have on the night shift (something they don’t normally do for office jobs).

Getting to bed was becoming increasingly difficult these days. If she had a normal life, she’d have a regular bed time enforced not by an overseeing parent, but by a desire to get a good night’s sleep before meeting the day with renewed zeal. Each night she’d complete all of the pre-bed rituals – brushing teeth, washing face, picking out clothes for the next day – knowing that they would make a difference in the way she felt the next morning. Now, there just seemed no point. Nothing was going to make a difference in the way she felt the next day. She was going to feel this way forever and ever.

What made it worse was that once she finally made it to bed, either out of boredom or sheer exhaustion, she couldn’t seem to get out of bed. She’d lie there all day trading off between dozing and watching TV. She hadn’t been eating too much, so she didn’t have to get up and go to the bathroom too often. Her body had long since stopped fighting the non movement and she could practically feel herself melting into the pillow-top mattress sometimes.

There was little that differentiated her days from one another except if she spent it on the futon in the living room or in the bed in the bedroom. He days has ceased to be broken up by morning, working, evening, sleeping. Now they were just one long span of time that rarely changed. She was saving money on groceries and laundry (thank God she had a comfortable bathrobe) but these realizations didn’t bring any happiness. Playing video games didn’t bring any happiness either. They were just another way to pass the time.

She’d never played straight through the night before. In a way it was liberating because she’d gone through the darkness of the night and seen the dawn (granted she hadn’t been paying attention). But that morning, as she went to bed, she felt, for the first time in a long time, like she’d accomplished something.

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