Saturday, October 28, 2006


Vampires stalk the night.

I live in a household infected with vampirism. No, not the lust for blood, the stalking the night hours.

When I worked the line, I worked a rotating shift, some days, some nights. Milady worked an evening (2-10) shift. Then, I got an opportunity to work straight days, and she, of course, got promoted to a new position that requires her to work a straight night shift. She's been on this shift a little over a year, and she is pretty much nocturnal. Even when she has some time off and tries to maintain a daylight schedule, she normally awakens about 1:00 a.m. and stalks around for a few hours. The rising sun makes her sleepy.

We also have in this house a college student who keeps a normal college/working girl schedule. She normally collapses about midnight and awakens in time to shower and get to class. Whenever that is. I'm never around for that part of her day.

In the guest room we have a grown, working son who recently took a job close to here. He's crashing here during the week until he can find digs close to his job. He's looking for a piece of land to build on and commuting to his home fifty miles away during the weekend. Did I mention he works a night shift?

In this house there is someone always awake and someone always asleep. Security is not a problem in this house. There is always a loved one awake, standing guard. Stalking the night.

When I was in the military, in field units, we often ran all night. Combat ops are 24/7 operations and training for combat ops should be 24/7 operations. I was lucky to have commanders who understood that, and who also understood sleep planning. Sleep planning is important. You gotta sleep or you can't function over the long term, so there is a time to be up and a time to be down. In the military, in law enforcement, and in the medical professions, we never close. We're always open. Somebody has to be awake and alert.

One of the things I learned in the military, and as a cop, was how to sleep. I have the basic ability to sleep anywhere, from a foxhole to a king-sized bed, it doesn't matter. All I have to do is cease movement, relax the mind, and sleep soon follows. When we went on the fishing trip a couple of weeks ago, my daughter took this picture while we were traveling between fishing holes.

Yeah, that's me. Pawpaw hisself. The boat was traveling to a new location. Twin diesels roaring with the accompanying vibration, the boat was rocking and the bulkheads were steel. Naturally, I thought it was a good time for a nap. I wedged myself into a corner and took a break. It's a lot like sleeping in a moving tank, or an APC. If I had been wearing a CVC helmet, plugged into the comms, I would have been in dreamy slumber.

The only problem with vampirism is that when you get your sleep, you are awake. I need 6 hours, and I fell over at 8:00 p.m. last night. At three a.m., I sat up, blissfully refeshed and fully awake. Milady is due home in a couple of hours, and I'm working on a pot of coffee.

No comments: