It’s usually refreshing to wake up from a quick power snooze. We land in Napville for infinite reasons. Insomnia. Baby in the house. A 2 a.m. smoke detector chirp-a-thon. Midnight worries.
The result is the same. Daytime enthusiasm gets sucked into a black hole. You suddenly can’t remember the name of the Bill Murray movie with the gophers. Not the groundhog flick — the gopher one. No reason to know it, but still.
Some days the fatigue is too much. Your lids droop, your head bobs, your body takes over with surrender. Later, when you fully emerge from the doze, you admit, “Yeah, good move. I needed that nap.”
Unless you’re in the middle of a car dealership.
Yep, here we go. This was a bad one. I took my vehicle to the auto dealer for an oil change/checkup and, well, I slipped into a new zone.
Armed with a book, I was prepared to wait, as always. I’m a veteran of not taking the courtesy shuttle. I rationalize that if the service department knows I’m waiting there, the whole deal will go quicker.
It was a different place this time, where the service waiting area was tucked along on one side of the new car showroom. Same set-up, though. Reasonably comfortable chairs. Big screen TV. Lousy magazines.
Strange, but I looked forward to this time of forced novel reading with forced Family Feud background noise.
The first 45 minutes or so were fine. Everything about the place yelled, “You are awake!” The lights were way too bright. The air was way too cold. I even helped myself to the kind of coffee you only find in automotive waiting rooms — horrible. I grabbed a cup from the Styrofoam tower and selected “hazelnut” from the NASA-worthy machine. I downed it fast, mainly to warm up.
To recap. My book was interesting. I had goosebumps from the arctic AC. The lights were at operating room strength. Caffeine was swirling through my bloodstream. Steve Harvey’s voice was resonating everywhere. Even car salesmen were buzzing around my peripheral vision. How many more elements of wakeful cues could a person have?
Then, it happened. My chin dropped a little. I began to blink in slow motion. Something took over. There was no way I could name even one Bill Murray movie. I scrunched down and curled my torso just enough so my head could make contact with the pleather on the back of my chair. The goal was to rest for a moment. Just… a … moment.
I don’t know how much time passed, but when I opened my eyes, the families were no longer feuding on the tube. My head was tilted in such a way that there might or might not have been a big drool spot on my sleeve. Not gonna say here. I will admit that my hair took on a new stubborn uneven dent.
What a pathetic carbon-14 test for a nap’s length. Clearly, I was out for a while. When it was my turn to pay the bill, it seemed the service cashier was trying to hide a smirk. Maybe he had called my name more than once?
I worried about how many people might have caught me snoozing in such an unexpected place. At home, I actually typed this in the YouTube search bar: “Woman snoring in auto dealership.” You never know.
But the biggest worry was: why? Could a new public sleeping thing be … age-related?
For weeks, I kept this concern in an active file.
Until I received a text from a person who represents the epitome of youthfulness — my college sophomore:
“Drooled on a table in the library. It must be Monday.”
Freelancer Denise Snodell writes alternate weeks.