Monday, June 27, 2011

Acquainted with the Night

I have a terrible memory. And it seem to get worse and worse, losing all my marbles. "Losing marbles" is such a cute phrase. I always picture a fuzzy cat, who doesn't know what to do with her glass marbles rolling and scattering on the wooden floor.

Many people smiled at me and talked to me the past few weeks, people who are total strangers to me. I know I've met them, because of their behavours towards me, but I have no idea. I just smile and nod in conversations, try to piece together information, try to figure out who they are. I don't mean to be rude... if I don't smile back, it's because of my bad memory. Names, numbers, dates, faces... they all fade away rapidly. Memories are meant to fade and I'm grateful for that. But the memories I want to get rid of, they don't disappear (like, for instance, saying really dumb things to a love interest... out of nervousness. Or my entire highschool memory).

A story of my bad memory:
I was going to my friend's place. His place is only 2 minutes away from mine. I memorized his buzzer number and the apartment number. I went to his apartment and called him through intercom. At that point, I forgot his apartment number already. I asked his unit number (this is even more ridiculous because I've been to his place many times before). He told me the number and I took an elevator up. During the short ride up, I forgot his apartment number again. I don't have a cellphone, and even if I did, I'd be too embarrassed to ask again. So I knocked on EVERY APARTMENT on his floor to find his.

I used to have an unusually good memory. Or did I? I forgot.
I didn't need bookmarks because I memorized page numbers (now I lose my bookmarks). I used to remember most of my friends' phone numbers (now I barely know my phone number). I'd vividly remember how I met each person, surroundings, conversations, etc. Now, everything slips through between my fingers like sand.

This ain't no way to live.

My dear friend and an amazing illustrator Selena told me few days ago, it is because of the messed-up sleep schedule and lack of sleep. It is hard to keep up a regular sleep schedule for me. Deadline comes, and I'm bound to rush. At 4 am., I'm not happy with what I am doing, and start re-working. I often stay up all night and think I'll catch up with sleep later. It never happens. I'm going to reset my sleep schedule as soon as my dumb-ass Master's is over. It is really hard for me to go to bed early because ever since I was a kid, I've always loved the night. Night is when the magic happens. I get most inspired at night, thoughts are amplified. Be acquainted with the night. I hate the fact that human beings need sleep. Try Nancy Kress' novel, Beggar's in Spain. It's about a new genetically-modified humans who don't need sleep. They become super-human and immortals. I wish I didn't have to sleep. I pity the hours I lose sleeping. But I'm only a human. I do need over 6 hours of sleep a day.  One of my friend is exercising, losing weight, etc. just so that he can paint till he is in his 80s. If we want to have a long career, we better take care of ourselves. It's 4AM again. I better stop babbling nonsense and hit the hay.

Just to disturb your sleep (and for me to have a night company)... Here is me as a Ringu (Japanese horror movie about a ghost) ghost to haunt your bedside:
Photo by my lovely cousin, Pam
Okay, sorry for the scary movie reference. Just looking up the link for Ringu movie gave me the chills. Koreans often say that scary things would make people forget about the summer heat. So they tell ghost stories during summer (and watch scary movies). I think the chill we get from the scary stuff is different from the actual temperature. But anyways... in my poor defense... you won't feel the summer heat tomorrow under the hot sun.


Jori Bolton said...

Great post, Hyein. It's so hard to accept all the hours we need to give to sleep. A few times, I've tried to gradually accustom myself to less hours per night, but it never works! I enjoyed reading this!
And your sketches are great, too, as always!

Wendy said...

Totally agree with you, Hyein. There are only so many hours in one day and some must be reserved for downtime / slacking off. Otherwise we'll feel burnt out!

If I really want something done right but am too tired to do it at night, I'll go to bed early and get up early to do it first thing in the morning, when my mind is fresh and anew! :)

Hyein Lee said...

Haha.. Jori, please don't try to cut down sleep. You'll end up like me! Sleep is important for creativity.
Thank you for the sweet comment. :D

Ms Ding! It sucks to have a burn out. I wish I could keep going like an energizer bunny. Good that you can concentrate in the morning. I can't.