It’s only spring, but summer weather is already here. Sun and heat drain the color and vigor from living things while fevered breezes pulse through the air like dragon breath. My view is full of flowers and butterflies, but everything has a dusty cast that turns it into a faded nature film from the 1970s.
I @#$%ing hate summer.
I should be asleep right now. When my kids were younger, graveyard shift was tricky because I wanted to be awake when they were home, or at least awake enough to take them to and from school, or wherever else they needed to go. Friends and neighbors would help but it never lasted, either through fault or circumstance. I thought this time would be easier since my kids are adults now.
I try to keep a similar schedule to my normal daylight time, just 12 hours later, but it’s so hot, you guys! *cry* It’s just so, so hot!
And I forgot about how, when you work overnight, you develop this desperation to get enough sleep. If you fail, no amount of coffee, pills, or energy drinks can help you.
Sometimes you get lucky and work with a crew who understands, who lets each other nap while keeping watch or picking up the slack. The trick to maintaining that dynamic is to not take advantage; make every effort to stay up and pull your weight. That was my favorite thing about graveyards, that camaraderie we had, watching out for each other, keeping each other afloat. It was temporary, but it was good while it lasted.
Now, however, I’m a trainee, and no such dynamic is accessible even if it does exist. So it’s especially important to be prepared for that nightly journey into darkness and through to the sunrise at the end. This heat, though! It’s impossible! Every morning I scarf down breakfast and go to bed as soon as possible to catch the cool air. I wake up 3-4 hours later drenched, stay up through the heat of the day, and take another 2-3 hour nap in the late afternoon. Then it’s a mad scramble to eat, get ready for work, swing by Starbucks, and catch my train. So far I’ve managed it into a doable routine, but that sleep desperation hangs over me like a little black rain cloud, always.