I got approximately four and a half hours of sleep last night, thanks to the Peter Bjorn and John show at First Avenue, which was very entertaining and enjoyable but which started (or rather, ended) far too late for an old thirty-something like myself on a Wednesday night. Ordinarily I'd be able to make it through the day by simply focusing on the countdown of hours until I can go home and crash for the night. Tonight, however, I have to rush home, change clothes, and immediately head to dinner and a play with a man I might consider dating, and since I might consider dating him, I'd sort of prefer to be my usual sharp and witty self (read: not babble incoherently or repeatedly trail off into unfinished sentences any more than is already the norm for me). I'd also prefer to remain awake for the duration of the play, and the way my eyes are burning, that might be a tall order.
In the past, on days like this, I've spent my lunch hour hiding out in my car on an unpopulated street or parking lot, reclining in my seat for a power nap. It's an unseasonably warm 83 degrees here today, however, and baking in a heatbin isn't exactly conducive to rest and relaxation. (I never did get that "As seen on TV" AutoCool.)
So instead, I walked a few blocks to the relatively quiet and tree-shaded park near my office in search of a comfortable spot to rest my eyes. I picked the rear side of a picnic bench at the far end of the park and I rolled down onto my back on the bench. About two minutes later, I realized that (A) a rubberized coating on a metal grated bench does not, in fact, adequately cushion your head from the fact that it is still pressed against a metal grated bench and (B) it is hard to lie comfortably on a 12-inch wide plank, as there's no logical place for your arms to go. I considered moving down to the grass, but I hadn't brought a sweater or blanket to put under my head, and the fear of ants and gnats in my hair is even less conducive to rest than my 80-plus-degree car was. Hence, I stuck it out on the bench.
It took a while, but about twenty minutes later I jerked to consciousness aware that I had, in fact, fallen asleep for at least a few minutes. And then I realized something. I slept on a park bench. In a city park. In the middle of the day. I am a modern, urban hobo!
The evidence goes beyond today's lunch break, actually. I can quickly think of at least four previous occasions when I've taken a nap in a public park. It's usually been with my friend Sarah, during a vacation in another city or on the return route from a camping trip. Sometimes we've even taken our Slumberjack sleep mats out of the car to nap properly on the ground in the park.
The uncomfortable metal grate benches are no accident in this particular quiet suburb, I think. It's a hobo-thwarting plan, if ever I saw one. And on behalf of would-be suburban hobos everywhere, I am hurt (or at least, my poor skull temporarily is).