I started my new hours this week. It’s not terribly complicated, but I have an impossible time explaining it succinctly. Basically, if I work 8 additional hours over my two week pay period, I earn a day off. So I started coming in an hour earlier every day but stay until my regular time. Now, based on these hours, every first Friday of the pay period I get out at 4:30, and every second Friday of the pay period I am off.
Yes, I have three day weekends every other weekend now.
But as I adjust to this process, I’m fairly certain I am losing my mind. I’ve lost all sense of time and timing. I cannot tell if I have been here for hours or days. I have stubble on my chin, though I’m fairly positive I shaved this morning. My clothes appear to be wrinkled and untucked, my tie loose and hanging, top buttons undone. My face is pinched in a perplexing squint, switching focus to one eye for now, the other later. The coffee in my veins doesn’t wake me so much as shake me anymore.
When I got to work, I opened Gmail. At some point I noticed my status message read “Underwear loungin’.” I double-checked to see if I was in the office. To see if I really was wearing pants. I was.
Its absurd that one hour less of sleep, one hour earlier in the day feels like a whole new universe. It should be night now. It should be winter. It should be Christmas. It should be my birthday.
Instead, the windowless room provides an endless, false midday, devoid of dawn or dusk.
I keep thinking of this Stephen King short story, “The 10 o’clock People.” Some perfect combination of sleep deprivation, nicotine, coffee, booze and exercise has been intermingling in my system now for weeks. Its making me aware of things I had never seen before. Way less about monsters running the country, though. More self-reflective.
Perhaps I am merely looking for excuses to explain why recently, I don’t trust my instincts worth a damn.