This post is Rated R for language and religious references.
Last night an old friend woke me up at 11:08 pm. It has been my habit since the new year began to go to bed at 10. I fudged a few times, but I have mostly kept to this new lifestyle change and have reaped substantial benefits: I feel better, I look better – the luggage I was carrying beneath my eyes is slowly but noticeably deflating – and my work product has improved personally and professionally. Everyday this week, except today, I’ve been on a train that runs at least 30 minutes earlier than my previous habit, getting me to work well before 9 am and giving me a nice jump on the day.
Today, I got to work after 9, which means I have to stay late, on a Friday before a three-day weekend, to give my employers their time. No breakfast was eaten – as I type this I’m eating popcorn and cookies and forget about my morning vitamin, forgotten in the rush – no lunch was prepared – which means I either have to eat my emergency can of soup or spend money instead of enjoying the homemade chili I intended to bring – and I forgot my sweater. So if I get cold during the day, I either have to wear my long winter coat or that’s just too bad.
This person is potentially fucking with my time, my health and my money, all because he refuses to respect my phone. This is not the first, second, fifth or even fifteenth time I’ve asked him not to call me after 10 pm, a long standing rule I’ve had since I was in my early 20s. And when he calls, he’s intoxicated, whining, repeating the same things over and over, sometimes even cursing God, which I’ve told him multiple times I absolutely do NOT under any circumstances approve of. I’m getting a strong sense of de ja vuh as I write this, which means I’ve written about this before. It means that I’m being continually upset to the point where I – a professional editor who pounces unmercifully on unwanted instances of content repetition as a matter of principle – am being repetitive.
Let’s consider this from another angle. Why do people usually call late at night? Because something is wrong, right? You hear that phone ring, you wake suddenly. You are jarred from your slumber almost violently and suffer numerous negative physical affects as a result: high blood pressure, racing heart beat, adrenaline surges, tightness in the chest, the list goes on. It is also difficult to get back to sleep after being upset like that. I know. I woke up two other times after that call.
My alarm woke me this morning, which hasn’t happened in more than a week, and that too was jarring. I had been waking up naturally. If an alarm wakes you chances are you aren’t ready to get up, otherwise you already would be.
Then, to add insult to already egregious injury, when I sent this person a text message this morning – please do not call me after 10. You disrupt my sleep, and I need it – I get the following reply:
Sleep? What’s that?
Then I got another text that read:
I hope I don’t die after ten. I won’t get a chance to say goodbye.
Let’s tackle that first reply. Essentially what you’re saying is because you’re not sleeping, I shouldn’t get to either? And to that second reply I say only, bullshit. If your stupid ass was dying why the fuck would you be calling a friend you haven’t seen in over a year? Shouldn’t you be calling the man/911 so they can send the people to help you? Alternatively, shouldn’t you be calling your mom, dad or brothers, all of whom are still living, to say your so-called goodbye?. Shut up with that shit.
And the killing point about it all? You have audacity to act like I’m in the wrong because I’m asking you to respect choices I’ve made to ensure my health and well being? Because I have asked you not importune me/use me as a dumping ground for your craziness? Did I mention that these days this person only calls late, in an objectionable state?
Sigh. This person was a good friend. When I had a little apartment off 31st street and would lock myself out – I did it at least three times – he’d come over and take the door off the hinges to spare me the cost of a locksmith. When I had a little garden apartment near Division and a mouse came up the drain and was trapped in the bathtub he came over and got it out. When my dad died, he sat patiently when I cried or listened for hours while I talked and reminisced about me beloved Pop, and I reciprocated. I went on trips with him, to Christmas parties with him so he wouldn’t have to go alone. I listened to him bring his dead wife into literally every conversation we’ve ever had and repeat the same shit over and over and over and over. I’ve tried tough love, sweetness and light and everything in between to encourage this person to get help.
Now I’m not interested. My life is fabulous. I will not be aggravated unnecessarily. No one is going to run shit over here as long as I’m behind the wheel, working every day, hard, and paying Tmobile on time every month. That person? After a friendship that has lasted more than a decade, he is now blocked.
People are gonna learn. But I probably won’t be the one to teach ’em. I can show you waaaay better than I can tell you, that when it comes to my life, time, and everything else, I mean business.