Happy Thanksgiving! In honor of this holiday all about eating too much food with your relatives, I decided I’d write some horror stories for you. Or at least, horror stories from my perspective. It’s seasonally appropriate!
The Midnight Shift
Imagine, if you will, that you’re a twenty year old man working at a library. Let’s say your name is… Roger. The library closes at midnight. You have to be up by 7:00 AM tomorrow to make it to class at 8:00 AM. You’ve spent the last four hours sitting at the front desk because all the shelving is done and you’re too tired to do anything else. You’d like to say you got some homework done, but of course you didn’t. You sat there trying to come up with an idea for a book or a blog post or something. Also you have a blog. Did I mention that? Your name is Roger and you have a blog. Anyway, the library closes at midnight. But people seem to misunderstand what that means. You came across the same problem when you worked at Best Buy. You’re a twenty year old man named Roger that used to work at Best Buy, but now you work at a library and you have a blog and you need to wake up early for class. And you really hate when people look at a sign that says “This place closes at midnight” and think to themselves “That means I should wait until midnight to pack my things” even though that clearly means you should leave at 11:50. Or 11:55 at the very least. So we’ve set the scene. It’s Tuesday night. You just locked a few doors and now you’re in the library annex, waiting for two people to get up and leave. You’re not allowed to ask them to leave, because that would obviously be rude, so instead you’ve passive aggressively reminded them at least three times that the library is about to close. “The annex is technically separate from the library so you can’t hear the announcements, but it’s 11:55 and we close in five minutes.” And yet there they sit. They stopped studying a few minutes ago and they’ve been lackadaisically and slowly packing up while gossiping about some friends of theirs. You have to make an effort to not listen to their conversation because you’ve got particularly good hearing, even though your phone is always telling you that your volume is too loud. Of course the two people aren’t intentionally inconveniencing you. They aren’t even doing anything wrong, you’re just a crabby bitch. Named Roger. They don’t know that you had to send your coworker ahead to walk the rest of the floors and you have to wait for them to leave before you can move on. They don’t know that usually by this time you’re on the third floor, and you’re hoping to walk out of here at 12:01 so you can trek back to your dark and slightly smelly on-campus apartment and lie down, thinking about falling asleep for a grand total of ten seconds before taking out your phone and playing a game. And after a little while you look at the clock and realize it’s 1:12 and you’ve fucked up your sleep schedule even further. They don’t know about any of this. So you stand and wait, frozen in a fog of misplaced aggression and fantasize about screaming into your pillow. After a while you look around and realize that they’ve left. You’re the only one in the annex. It’s 12:02. You sigh and make your way to the third floor. You’re unbelievably exhausted. And your name is Roger.
What do you think? Was that scary enough? No? It wasn’t scary? What do you mean it was too depressing? Alright, fine. The next story will be scarier. It’ll be completely different from the last one. I promise.
The Short and Unfulfilling Sleep
Imagine, if you will, a twenty year old man who works at… something that isn’t a library. He goes to college. But this college is a different one from whatever college the last guy went to. And his name isn’t Roger! It’s Bartholomew, I guess. Yeah. Bartholomew. Bartholomew suffers from a disorder called sleep apnea. This means that when he sleeps he can’t really breathe because his tongue blocks the already narrow pathway to his lungs. And he’s congested all the time, so he can barely breathe out of his nose. It really sucks. Also he snores. Really fucking loudly. Because of this, he and his roommate can’t sleep in the same room and they’ve had to switch who sleeps in the room when. But Bartholomew is determined to fix this. Because this lack of sleep affects every aspect of his life. He doesn’t get enough oxygen when he sleeps, and this means his brain and body aren’t getting the rest and rejuvenation they so desperately need. And Bartholomew is an idiot. He organized his schedule so he has an 8:00 AM class every morning and he has to work until midnight at the not-library two nights a week. So he’s running on reserve energy that his body isn’t quite able to replenish. He made a plan to get help though. One month ago he spoke to a sleep specialist and scheduled a sleep study. The earliest they would let him take this study was a month from then. Which was yesterday. Last night Bartholomew strapped an uncomfortable and weird machine to his body that was meant to record his sleep patterns. But when he woke up the finger sensor was askew and it didn’t seem to be recording anything. So when he dropped off the machine, he asked the front desk how long it would be until he heard back about the results. They said he would hear back in two weeks. And now Bartholomew is waiting on pins and needles for his results, trying to figure out why it takes two weeks to tell a person whether a machine actually did the thing it was supposed to or if he needs to come in and sleep at the actual hospital so they can record the data there. As I write this, Bartholomew is hoping that it won’t take another month to get another test if the machine didn’t work. He knew he’d have to jump through hoops and wait a while to get a CPAP machine, but none of the people he talked to told him how long any of this would take or even why it has to take so long. And apparently there might be a CPAP machine shortage right now? Who knows what’s going on there, right? Who knows what’ll happen next. Will Bartholomew ever be able to breathe when he sleeps? Spooooooooooooooky.
Surely you found that story even a little bit frightening. What do you mean, it seems like this whole post is a pretense for me to rant about annoying shit going on in my life? How dare you!
Okay, final spooky story. This guy’s name is Jeremy. He’s twenty years old and he works at a not-library. You get it. Jeremy hates being an adult. But he also doesn’t hate it because people legitimately listen to him now. But he does hate it at the same time. Jeremy already has to deal with sleep apnea and misplaced aggression. On top of that he’s constantly struggling to stay on top of his schoolwork. And he gets so anxious about so many things all the time that every possible negative thing is in his mind, giving him anxiety all the time. “I need to get my license and apply for a second job and get a passport and a credit card and save more money for the house I want to rent next year so I can get off campus and would it be easier to go back to the camp I worked at last year or move into the house in June and get another job and stay in Duluth? Why do I have to think about so many things all the time?! I just want to go to the top of the hill next to my apartment and scream at the top of my lungs, but that’s not really a socially acceptable thing to do and people may think I’m being murdered. Am I taking the right classes? Should I even be in college? What’s the point of all of this? What is it all leading to? Am I going to become a great and famous writer or is that not actually what I want to do with my life and I just think it is because it feels like it’s the only thing I’m good at? What is the purpose of life? What’s the meaning of it all? I know we’re all just random molecules that happen to coagulate into people but why is it that my molecules have to be overweight, tired and depressed all the time? When will I find the time to figure all of this out? And why am I writing all of this into a blog post that I’m publishing on the internet? I thought I promised myself that I wouldn’t show people how truly insane I really am. Not that it matters, of course. I’m a fictional character named Jeremy!” Oh look, Jeremy just got murdered by a man with a chainsaw. Is that scary enough for you?
So that was that. I’m just going to leave it there. I don’t know what this was, really. An insight into a weirdo’s head? Or an insight into three fictional weirdo’s heads? Sure. Let’s go with that. Happy Thanksgiving, everybody.