"Suicide Hotline, please hold..."

I have an odd schedule. Last night, I was in bed, dead asleep by 6:30 PM, and I got up at 2:00 AM this morning. My friends and roommates know this, and they are pretty good about trying to not wake me in the evening. This is made easier by the fact that I can sleep through just about anything - living next to a trainyard and a major overpass for a semester will do that for you. I keep these hours so that I can be done with work each day by 9:00 AM. While most of you are snug in your beds, I am making sure that the procrastinators, the homeless, the drunk, and the generally sleepless who come to my lab don't break anything.

Because I am the only person most of you know who can be counted upon to be awake at, say, 3:30 AM, I've gotten some choice phone calls and text messages while working. I've been called on account of nightmares, insomnia, illness, horniness, and deep, dark depression, but my favorites are the drunk dials.

"Hey Linusss..."
"Hey (name withheld), how are you?"
"I'm doin' jus great..."
"I can hear that. Did you go out tonight?"
"This iss not my house..."
"How much have you had to drink?"
"All uv it."
"You drank all of the alcohol at the club?"
(giggling) "No... all tha we had at home...then some uv the some uv some uv the some uv the club's."
"Where are you now?"
"At home. Well, i's somebody's home, anyway..."
"I see. So have you had anything to eat lately?" (At this point, I've given up on trying to figure out why they called me and moved on to recovery and hang-over prevention.)
"Oh yeah, had some gummy bears... you know what, Linusss?"
"I wanna' get up your kilt."
"Ok, see, that's not going to happen..."
"I jus wanna' see for m'self..."

The nightmare calls are great too. One friend called to tell me that she had dreamt that Henry Rollins was her dance partner for a recital that determined her semester grade - and he was such a good dancer that he was making her look bad. Another was wandering a cemetery, but all of the grave markers had been replaced with spoons - big, terrifying spoons. One person called to tell me about a horrible dream she had, then as soon as I answered the phone she forgot all the details.

One friend called to tell me that he had finally finished a big project that he had been stressing over for months. He had finished it about midnight, and he called me around 4:45 AM. After I congratulated him, he confessed that even though it was now done he had been in a state of anxiety about it for so long, he still couldn't sleep.

Another odd category of calls is the "don't let me fall asleep" call. I have talked or texted people into Denver to catch the red eye, into Laramie from Denver, and into Greeley from Fort Collins. Those are pretty nerve-wracking - what can I really do if they drift off while talking to me, or don't return my text? Helplessly listening to a car crash through my cell phone is one of MY nightmares...

Some nights I am happy to get them... but I'm not saying that everyone should call me in the wee hours of the morning. In fact, it would suck if my quiet hours were to be plagued by the phone, but I don't mind the occassional call or text. And isn't it nice to know that the Black Pope is there for you?


Clayton said...

I would call you through gtalk at hours when I am quite awake on this side of the world, but only through means of gtalk.

His Sinfulness said...

I tried to use the google chat system on my desktop computer, and it worked for about 2 days then fritzed and has never worked since, despite repeated reinstalling. I may try it on the laptop now...

His Sinfulness said...

Upon further investigation, Google apparently does not offer Gtalk in a Mac friendly format. If you're not a friend of the Mac, you're no friend of mine...

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