I get tired sometimes, with early call times for work and long commutes that can be measured in flights not drives. It’s better if I don’t drive, as I have had my eyes open for long enough that purple iridescent blotches appear in my line of sight. The purple creates even more blind spots, blocking out entire vehicles, big trucks swerving into my lane suddenly invisible.

When I get this way, then I am too tired to sleep, and that is when the magic truly happens. My eyes are permanently red and I sustain a permanent midnight within, internal clock striking 12 in a constant beat. The makeup required for each particular job gets layered onto itself in sticky patches. I feel like the underside of a grade schooler’s desk, the back of a seat in an old theatre, covered with traces of old gum and dried up soda.

Violet triangles raise under my eyes, as if they are trying to point me to a bed somewhere. My face is sore to the touch, my neck is stiff and cracks when I turn my head. I drink all the water I can hold but it does nothing but make me always have to run to the bathroom.

Hallucinations follow this state of eternal wakefulness, and if I am with someone else who is also tired, we compete in a folie a’deux – a shared madness. Once when on an ill-planned road trip with another comic, we drove all night on interstates with nothing but acidic truck stop coffee to sustain us. It had been many days without sleep and as we flew by the trucks in our path, we both witnessed white horses changing lanes in front of us, and to this we said only

‘did you see that?’


‘maybe we should go to sleep.’

4 Comments. Add To The Mix…

  1. I agree. Traveling 120, 000 + miles a year, driving is a disadvantage after landing. Flipping between time zones, red eyes etc. You described itir purrrrfectly.

  2. I just wanted to say that I read your bio and a lot hits home for me. I was the outcast, shy, not confident, bullied girl who got it in school and at home. I too hated my childhood and now at 40 (OMG! That WORD!) I wish I could redo it. But I can’t. So instead I am finally comfortable being me (and digging it) and being a total asshat on Twitter to make others laugh 🙂 Yes, comedy is a wonderful outlet. And LOVE your tats.

    Anyway, I’ve been a long time on and off fan. I’m glad I came back.

  3. As a night shift worker of many years I know what you mean! Kudos to you & your friend for not crashing the car when seeing the horses. the first time I hallucinated from lack of sleep I almost killed myself thinking there was a tree in the road. Have your thyroid checked if you have`nt lately darling. These types of life styles will do a number on it!!
    Much love…

  4. Oh my god, I thought I was the only one with the neck cracking sounds! It’s been going on for months, and every time it happens my heart starts pounding.

    I began obsessing a few years ago about my childhood extractive orthontia, where they pulled out four perfectly good teeth and pushed my whole mouth in to correct a harmless overbite. It gave me sleep apnea; if I fall asleep on my back, my throat basically collapses, I snore loudly and wake up.

    So since I started obsessing about it, my jaw and neck have gone into rigid overtime, and my neck is cracking.

    You have taught me a lesson. I watch tv and think “those celebrities don’t have my problems” and now here you are talking about your stiff neck. It doesn’t make me feel any better, just makes me realize we’re all in more or less the same boat as humans.

    I wish the orthodontists had left me alone when I was a kid. Today, I’d have a cute overbite, and I”d be able to sleep like a baby on my back.

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