I have had some trouble sleeping lately anyway. Work has been stressful, life has been stressful, and my body clock is all off. I have been oversleeping and rushing to get to work, when just a few weeks ago I was popping out of bed totally refreshed. Now, I'm afraid I may not sleep again. Not for a while at least.
You see, my "security blanket" is no longer with me. Oh it's there in a physical sense. I can still look at it and touch it, but it is dead. At least for now. It's my stupid iPod.
For a year and a half the iPod has been my constant companion. Any time I had time to kill sitting in a subway or waiting for an oil change, it was there. A long trip always went faster with my iPod, since I could always play the "My Top Rated" playlist, hook up the radio adapter and just drive and drive, feeling the wind blowing through my lustrous, flowing hair. My thick, non-gray mane of copious and luxurious hair. With nothing but rubber tires and my own devestating handsomeness between me and my destination. God, did that iPod make me look handsome, and oh so popular.
It had all my favorite songs on it. Well, maybe not all of them but enough of them. It had like 4400 songs, and while a good half them were probably crappy album filler I didn't want on there in the first place, the other stuff was good. I made my own playlists and made rock and rap mixes. It was like carrying your favorite 500 albums around at any given time.
But now, I get this:
The dreaded "Do Not Disconnect." I tried hooking the 'Pod up to the iTunes software on the computer in my house, and damn if the thing didn't show the above picture for a half hour, whirring and clicking and making all sorts of coughing noises.
It started when I was jogging. (Or maybe it's pronounced "yogging." It could be a soft "j".) I can't jog without music; the sound of the "he-he, hoo-hoo" breathing drives me nuts. I was about a half mile up the road when the song I was listening to (it was "I Saw the Light" by Todd Rundgren) suddenly froze. This is an iPod, not a CD. It's not supposed to freeze! So I did the reset thing and it came back, but started skipping a couple songs on the playlist. Oh well, I thought, must have something to do with the up and down movement of my arms. (I use an arm strap; yes I am that guy.)
But though she gave me a scare a couple times, the old girl would always come back with a quick reset (holding down the 12 o'clock part of the click wheel and the center button for 6 seconds). The battery is shot since I overcharged the thing very early on, but I could still use it to fall asleep.
But Monday night was the last night I heard from her. I was feeling pretty sad, so I decided to fall asleep to Iron & Wine, which is beautiful music about being depressed and sad and feeling lonesome. (Consider, however, two nights prior I was listening to the Dead Kennedys, which is fast-paced surfer-punk music that gets me all riled up. I am so bi-polar.) Little did I know that I&W's "Promising Light" would be the last song I fell asleep to. Now that song is even sadder than before.
The next day, I turned the 'Pod on, saw the Apple symbol, and then saw that horrible "contact apple support" icon they use. It even had a picture of an iPod with a frown on its face. Very sad.
So now, since I don't have a CD player in my room, I have nothing but the dulcit tones of my brain. Of course, last night I had that Peanut Butter Jelly Time song stuck in my head, rendering sleep a near-impossibility. (By the way, what does peanut butter and jelly have to do with a baseball bat? Kinky, but I'm not sure I want to know.)
What do I do? Do I break out the old Walkman and listen to forgotten tapes I copied of Mike Cialini in 10th grade? Do I go with the clock radio, where I could either listen to ESPN or late night political conspiracy theories? Or perhaps I could open up the window and be subject to trash talking teens, police sirens and that mystery dripping sound in the back yard. No, I'll probably let my overactive brain drive me nuts as I toss and turn until the clock strikes two.
So if I look grumpy and/or sleepy in the morning, you'll know why. Well, partially anyway.