@loripalminteriTweets by @loripalminteri
When I was in high school, I was surprised to be nominated in the senior superlatives as both “class clown” and “most likely to fall asleep in class.” I was equally shocked about both nominations. Was I hilarious in class while I was sleeping? I certainly wasn’t a class clown. Most people I went to high school with didn’t even know what my voice sounded like, I was so quiet. But I got that nod from a sketch I did in a senior talent show (that my friends who were running it begged me to do because they said the show was going to be too bland and needed comic relief, hahaha).
In retrospect, I did sleep a lot in classes. Oddly enough, I hardly got in trouble for it, probably because I still got good grades. I’m not sure why I was so tired all the fucking time back then. My allergies were always bad, and when I took medicine for that, I could barely keep my eyes open. But I think I was probably just bored. I think what was most shocking is I thought I was so stealthy about my in class naps, but apparently I was not. Did I snore? I had one teacher tell me that she wouldn’t wake me up because I never put my head down on the desk, I would lean into my hand, and to her, this meant I was “making an effort to stay awake” and couldn’t resist much needed sleep.
During Driver’s Ed, I would sleep during the turns of the other drivers in the car, and my Driver’s Ed teacher said he never saw anybody with the ability to pass out so quickly and easily, and thought I might have a health condition. Haha!
I can sleep on trains, planes, cars, even behind the wheel of a car. That’s not a bad joke. I have fallen asleep behind my wheel, several times (oddly enough, not late at night, during the day), and have fallen asleep many times stopped at stop lights. This actually scares the shit out of me, so my car is usually equipped with 5 hour energy shots. I don’t want to kill anyone because my brain likes to shut down from exhaustion.
I’ve fallen asleep at my desk at work. I’ve taken naps in bathroom stalls. I was once kicked out of a Panera because I fell asleep at a table (I was attempting to edit something and passed out). After doing a bit about sleep paralysis, I talked to an audience member/nurse about sleeping problems and she told me I have narcolepsy. I get all my medical advice from comedy club audience members who just met me.
It makes sense to me why I’m tired now. I work a lot. I stay up late. Being neurotic by nature is emotionally exhausting. I almost always feel tired, but I never feel exhausted until I stop, and then my body and mind suddenly crashes. I’ve made a bad habit of pushing my body and thinking I’m infallible until I get a fever and chills, and become unable to leave my bed (this happened to me just last week). Otherwise I’m restless. Restless mind, restless leg syndrome, restless energy that provides me with no energy, and yet, it needs to go somewhere or I will implode.
There are some days where I run for miles, work, write for hours, get on stage, and yet, the only thing that ever impresses me is my ability to get out of bed in the morning. That is the most impressive thing in the world: simply getting up. I rarely want to. Especially these days, as I strap into what looks like a spiral into a dark tunnel. In the quiet morning, I’m damn near immobilized by fear, doubt, memories, fantasies, everything I can control, everything I can’t control, disappointing people I love, or the never ending, never certain quest for happiness.
It’s so comfortable there in bed. And so eerily quiet. If I can successfully turn the volume down in my own head, there is peace. Then, I never want to leave. Ah, those rare moments of peace and clarity. Can’t I just stay there forever? Those who fear death have it all wrong. Today is the day I won’t get up. But I do. And I’m tired all day, waiting for that moment to return. And I’ll be tired again in the morning, with the same debate of whether or not to leave. It’s never that bad, the day. Sometimes, even, it’s good. Still, it seems so pointless to ever leave the sheets. Just to be tired all day.