Seriously, How Long Can I Go Without Sleep?

bed at night

by Joe Buonfiglio


HER: “Jesus Christ, Joe. Get some fucking sleep, will ya’? You’re losin’ your shit.”

ME: “Now it’s pelting me with fortune cookies containing lists of all my bad habits. Make it stop. MAKE IT STOP!”

I’m getting too old for this shit. I haven’t slept in… in… Son of a bitch! I haven’t slept in going on three days now! It’s no wonder I’m starting to hallucinate that the Buddha is sitting in front of me sharting Rice Krispies out of his ass that then take flight and attack schoolchildren in a 1963 coastal town while Alfred Hitchcock idly looks on drinking a warm German Pilsner out of a golden chalice where Tippi Hedren’s vagina should be.

It’s no joke! I need some fucking sleep!

I’m not really sure why I can’t seem to get any quality shuteye these days … or any days, for that matter. It could be that I just had a birthday. While other “normal” folks celebrate the passing of another year since the advent of their first gracing this planet, I tend to find it a melancholy opportunity for lamentation. As I do with New Year, I see it as the culmination of another 365 days in which I didn’t meet my goals and expectations for no other reason than I’m a bit of a fuckup.

On the other hand, it could simply be my biorhythms. I’ve always been a creature of the night. The allure of all that walks hand in hand with darkness is more than my psyche can resist. Also, it is the most quiet of times. I tend to get the majority of my writing done at night. Besides the occasional interruption by the odd vampire, werewolf or porn-pushing spam-mail, nighttime offers significantly more prospects for taking advantage of tranquil solitude.

Unfortunately, the creative juices that start flowing sometime after midnight also get my brain “juiced.” I just get way too jacked up to sleep. If I even try, I wake up every fifteen minutes needing to write some idea down I desperately do not want to risk losing by allowing myself to simply slip back into slumber. It makes getting into sync with my natural melatonin-triggered circadian rhythms of physiological functions a nightmare scenario and the definitive exercise in futility.

And speaking of nightmares, that’s another problem; I suffer from night terrors (AKA terror dreams). It’s hard to get to sleep knowing that seconds after REM kicks in, some ill-mannered madman will be butchering my family while I seem helpless to do anything but watch having been tied to the back of Marilyn Monroe’s corpse while she incessantly demands I loofah her rotting naughty bits. And then, while President William H. Taft dressed in nothing but a mammoth baby diaper and sitting atop a circus pony while being spoon-fed pureed KFC chicken by the ghost of Colonel Sanders himself, the lunatic turns and now comes at me with a pencil-sharpened anal probe stolen from the vault at Area 51 … … … or something to that effect.

Fucked up? You’re damn right it’s fucked up. Welcome to my world.

Oh, so you think my anti-slumber malaise is humorous do you, Mr. & Mrs. I Slept Great Last Night? Think losing the ability to distinguish between reality and the dream world is a happy place full of laughter and unlimited free Skittles? Well, I can tell you from firsthand experience, here is the type of shit that happens when you lose THAT MUCH sleep:

When the UPS guy comes to the door with some inane cardboard box full of bullshit you never ordered, but must be delivered nonetheless, you attack him with the leftover chicken parmigiana from last night while singing Rihanna’s 2011 song Birthday Cake: “I’mma make you my bitch. Cake, cake, cake, cake, cake, cake, cake, cake, cake, cake, cake, cake, cake, cake, cake.”

You run naked through the downtown streets giving an Atomic Wedgie of Death to anyone noticeably donning Spanx, having a visible tramp stamp containing a cartoon character or more than two words, or wearing red shoes while eating frozen yogurt.

You hold your boss down while shoving model-airplane glue up his or her nose and scream, “Who needs a Request for Proposal now, bitch!”

Drinking as much sweet tea as possible, you then piss into the gas tanks of all the rides parked outside of a biker bar while dressed like the cop from the Village People.

You whip it out and masturbate in front of your in-laws at their annual Christmas party while singing the chorus’ refrain to Montell Jordan’s 1995 hit This is How We Do It.

Next comes storming the White House dressed like Lawrence of Arabia yelling “I want my state dinner! I want my state dinner!” Then, you drop trou, crawl into a fetal position and defecate in the shape of a 1926 Underwood typewriter right there on the freshly cut lawn below the Oval Office. The only reason you give upon interrogation is “Blackened salmon gives me wicked gas.”

You treat your diabetes by inventing and then going on the “Hot Pockets -n- Pop-Tarts Diet.”

You try getting out of jury duty by saying “My dog told me to put on a clown costume and eat all the firstborn children.”

Boredom drives you to rub poison ivy all over your genitalia and then throw a swingers’ party telling everyone, “I don’t need a condom; I’m minty fresh.”

After making sure there is absolutely no toilet paper in the entire house by shoving it all in the neighbor’s mailbox and lighting it on fire, you then eat those deviled eggs and sushi that having been sitting on your picnic table out back in the hot sun for a couple of days.

You put all your money into refurbishing a 1974 Mercury Bobcat because, “That fucker is gonna become a collectors’ item any day now and I’ll be filthy stinkin’ rich!”

Convincing yourself that “dad bods” are not just a passing fad, you start pumping out your own line of homemade porn videos under the name “Anal Archie.” You then wait until your anniversary to ask your wife if she wants “in.”

And last but not least, you train your pet ferret how to both use sign language and time travel in order to learn the future’s secrets for advanced craft brewing and shaving your balls without a scratch.

What? Get winning lottery numbers? Avoid war? Solve world hunger? It’s a fucking ferret, for Christ’s sake. Gingerly shaven testicles is about as ambitious as I dare get.

So enjoy sleeping tonight, all you drowsy day-walkers. “Envy” doesn’t begin to describe my jealousy over your nocturnal gift. As for me, I’ll be banging away at my computer keyboard until the break of dawn partially to pump out more shit such as that which you now read and hopefully enjo—


Wow. That’s a helluva lot of snack food for one anus to bear. That’s gotta hurt.

No wonder they called him “The Red Baron.”

I really gotta get some fucking sleep.


© 2015 Joseph P. Buonfiglio     All Rights Reserved.

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