So, I’m one of those good students. I don’t bury my face under the desk to text during lecture. I actually show up to class a few minutes early, and very rarely skip a class. I do my work, and I turn it in on time. I don’t make excuses, and if my work is less than stellar, I accept my less than stellar grade. But there are other things that affect me as a student that some or most will not understand.
On my other blog, I have, in a few instances, glorified the use and habit of drinking rum. I love rum, and I have done quite a bit of my writing, for blogging and class work, under the influence. The truth is that it was also something I have used to wind down at night in battling insomnia. I have never considered myself an abuser because, although I drank nightly, I didn’t drink to get wasted, and I seldom ever had more than two 6 oz. glasses a night.
But one thing I have mostly kept to myself lately, is that I quit drinking a month ago. The first week was incredibly difficult, and I turned my habit toward Hansen’s Diet Ginger Ale, or Crystal Geyser Juice Squeeze instead. I still crave an aged glass of Mount Gay, but most of all, I miss sleeping. For the last ten days, my sleep pattern has been all sorts of disturbed, and I’m tempted to return to the rum.
On Tuesday night, I was still awake at three AM. I usually get up at six-thirty on school days, so that I have time to get Tristan dressed, his teeth brushed, and out the door in time for school, and myself to class just minutes before my eight AM History class. At just after four that morning, Tristan sleep-walked into our bedroom, standing in the doorway talking about cars and me needing to do the dishes. Mrs. 13 nudged me, knowing that she had work in a couple hours that took precedent. I took him back to his room, and laid him down to bed, then returned to my own, feeling like a jackhammer had done business to my weary eyes.
At six-thirty, my alarm went off. I reached up and fumbled to make sense of the scribbled lines my eyes failed to interpret. Mrs. 13 had just got out of the shower, and laid down next to me before dressing for work. She looked at me, I think, then said some words I don’t remember—the flickering charges in my brain weren’t igniting right. I think she convinced me to stay home and get some rest. At this, I felt the connection—me?? Missing school? I did that once last semester, and felt guilty about it, ‘cuz, the truth is, I like school.
The next thing I remembered is waking up with the bed sheets ruffled and falling to the floor. I strained to lift my head to see the time—almost ten. I had already missed my favorite class, and could still make it to my noon Ancient Lit class if I hurried. Instead, I lay around, stretching out, shaking the slumber from the corner of my eyes. The connections were firing again, and although my brain and eyes were functioning, I could immediately feel a sense of jitteriness, and an uncomfortable tremble in the fingertips as I held myself, eyes closed and teetering over the toilet bowl. I took a hot shower, and meandered downstairs to make some coffee and have a bite to eat.
That was yesterday, and last night was only marginally better. I may have gotten four hours of sleep, but I received an interesting phone call at lunch today. Mrs. 13 usually gives me a ring on her lunch break, but she didn’t seem her normal, chipper self. She asked me if I remember what happened in bed last night, specifically waking up screaming. She said it was a “low, weird scream,” and that she shrieked so loud she feared Tristan would wake up. At this, she said I appeared so frightened, I yelled even louder, and fell asleep shaking in her arms.
I told her the only thing I remembered was Tristan coming into the room at 7:45 telling me it was time to wake up.
I don't like to miss school. Home life is fantastic, but I enjoy getting out and seeing new things. I figure after all that I have been through, in Iraq, and dreaming of school while stop lossed, I owe it to myself to be that good student I wasn't while in High School. Alcohol was comforting then, and it got me through the night in ways I can't do on my own now.