5 Reasons You Stare at Your Ceiling at 3 a.m.

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1. Mental Brushfire

This occurs when you let your thoughts run away with themselves. Blame it on the brain clusters that allow you to associate different words to different thoughts. Once this ping pong game of mental craziness begins, it will only conclude with you realizing the time: that is your chance to stop it before it continues on to another loop around your mind.

Example:

Having dessert was a bad idea. But it tasted so good and you don’t go to that restaurant a lot and you’ll go to the gym tomorrow. You should go to the gym. But you’re always so tired. It’s because you took that job. Maybe you shouldn’t have accepted that job’s terms. But you like the money. Then you can buy shoes. That you don’t need. Rewards for hard work are not a crime. You wonder what it would be like to go to prison. Don’t drop the soap. Wait, you’re not a dude. Thank god. But they don’t have to deal with all the dramatic female crap, always smile and smell like watermelons. You swallowed a watermelon seed today. A tree is going to grow in your stomach like that ginger Chucky in Rugrats. You need to stop watching cartoons. It’s 3 a.m., you should be sleeping so you’re not a zombie at that job you took…

And the cycle continues.

2. Ambushed by Choices

You’re contemplating everything. Important choices, trivial ones, even the ones that have nothing to do with anything. Your choices have lead you to where you are now. Had they been different, where would you be? Is there a split universe where another you is living a different life because they chose the road less traveled by at that last crossroad you were stuck at? Are you happier in that dimension? Maybe you shouldn’t have chosen that major, gone to that school, or ordered that milkshake. Maybe you shouldn’t have sent that text, gone to that conference, or agreed to that decision even though you didn’t agree. Maybe you should’ve bought tickets to that show, ditched that acquaintance, or just said everything you were thinking. But you did what you did and didn’t do what you didn’t do. The Butterfly Effect is clear to you and you think that maybe Ashton Kutcher is not such a horrible actor after all. Yeah right, because Punk’d has substance.

3. Double Agent Sheep

“Count sheep,” they say. “It works,”they say. No, it doesn’t. If anything, this makes you think more about keeping track of the damn balls of fluff. Then they start doing pirouettes and Swan Lake moves over the old fence. Your going apeshit trying to count the thousands of cotton ballerinas and you’re thinking that it’s more frustrating than exhausting. You try just counting without the sheep, maybe just numbers works? You realize the numbers equal the seconds of the time passing by where you’re still awake and you’re mind wanders and you forget the number. Somewhere, a sinister sheep baa-hahaha’s at you.

4. Nonexistent Signs

Because it’s late and you’re brain is working in overdrive, you start going over the activities of your day. What happened and what didn’t happen, what could’ve happened, what should’ve happened. You realize that there were hidden signs. There were clues that a higher being left you to tell you what to do with your life or to alleviate the worry that has been building up due to the ambush previously described above. You see the links that were so subtle before. If you hadn’t watched “She’s All That” that afternoon, you may not have thought about going to Just Falafel thinking that you were going to bump into a jock that wanted to make you prom queen. Sure, you didn’t meet a jock and you graduated high school over a decade ago but then, the next day, you get crowned at Burger King at your cousin’s 4th birthday party. It was a premonition.

5. The Clock

The more you think about how you’re still awake, the less likely it is that you’ll actually fall asleep. It’s the complete opposite of falling asleep on a transatlantic airplane. You’ve woken up with a neck ache thinking you’ve slept for at least 6 hours only to find that the stewardess hasn’t even served the peanuts yet. In this case, you open your eyes to check the time to see that 3 hours have passed and you’re thinking, “maybe I should give up and start the coffee maker.” The tick tocking sound of Swatch watches, wall clocks, or the crocodile in your sink. It’s taunting you. You know with every passing tick, you are increasing your chances of being a cast member of Twilight in the morning only without rolling in glitter and baby powder. You’re that guy from the auditions that wasn’t hired because you actually just look dead.

Sweet dreams.

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