Insomniacs: news is either the best career choice, or the worst, depending on the day. Today, after only about three solid hours of sleep and subsequent fueling up on a black eye and Taco Bell, it’s the worst.
I’ve had sleeping problems since the day I was born. I never took naps as a child, and was never able to sleep all the way through the night. Unfortunately, that never changed, and a career in broadcast journalism has only worsened my situation. Sometimes it’s because I’m physically incapable of shutting off my brain. News is constantly breaking, and a producer’s brain churns incessantly as a result. Last night, I couldn’t fall asleep for the life of me, and then when I finally drifted off, I woke up minutes later completely positive I’d slept in until 11:something and had no idea how the noon show was even going to happen, or concerned that a certain story wasn’t being followed up on (is anyone checking on that missing boater for Pete’s sake?!) But most of the time, insomnia strikes simply no matter how many thoughts I think or don’t think. My mind can be a blank slate, and I’ll just stare dumbly into the backs of my black eyelids. And let me tell you what, nothing makes me feel more abnormal than this. Nothing. Feeling helpless and lonely, I lie awake in a sea of self-loathing, convinced that no one else on the face of the planet goes through this. I mean really. Who just doesn’t sleep?
And then I remember the year that I worked overnight producing the morning show. I think of all those times my news director called the station at 3:00AM concerned about the comments on the homepage, or when he snuck in the control room during the 5:30 AM show to “check in.” And then, I don’t feel like such a loner anymore. I feel like a journalist.
In other news (punnnnn) I’ve had clean shows two days in a row (Friday and Monday.) I’m pretty stoked about that. I’m probably the only person who remembers though, because Friday was eons ago in news time. But it matters to me! Especially since I had a clean show after zero sleep. That’s pretty impressive, if I do say so myself.
Saturday night we went out for Jessica’s birthday and I ran into a group of my favorite reporters (yes, I have favorites) and the spokesman for the city police department. After we greeted each other with enthusiastic hearty hugs, Policeman asked me what I was up to nowadays. When I told him I still worked at the station, he looked quite puzzled. Oh, beer! It was all I could do to not say, “I called you about a bank robbery yesterday…”
Pillow! I hear you! I’m coming for you!