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Chasing The American Dream

December 07, 2004


…when people run in circles its a very very… Mad World, Mad World…” from the song by GARY JULES, 2004 originally sung by TEARS FOR FEARS, 1982.

Sleep hasn’t come easy for me this year. In August, I slept a total of 112 hours. If you do the math, that’s about 3 ½ hours a day. I’ve steadily increased my sleep since that low point. I got 180 hours in November or 6 hours a day. But I’ve regressed this month. I’ve only gotten 16 hours of sleep in the past 6 days. I’ve been up since 3 am yesterday. 24 hours and going strong. What the hell is wrong with me, you ask? Well my friends, that is a long, long story. I always say it makes for great writing and great reading. I really think my book, if it gets in the right hands, can become a best seller because I really believe people can relate to the zany and unbelievable stories and events I’ve experienced. But more on that later.

The lack of sleep finally caught up with me today. It started off bad and got worse. While I was packing my suitcase this morning, I was trying to fold over the hanging gizmo used for suits and shirts. It’s a bit of a reach and somehow I lost my balance and couldn’t recover. I fell awkwardly and landed in the middle of the suitcase. Anyone witnessing that would have been rolling on the floor laughing. I was cursing because my shin landed hard on the rough zipper part of the suitcase. The pain didn’t go away either so I decided to take a look. Sheesh, I had a 3-inch bloody gash down my shin and it hurt like a MFer.

While packing up the car, I managed to bang my head on the trunk lid and then proceeded to stumble getting into the car banging my sore shin. OOWWW! I had a two-hour drive West and somehow managed to make it without falling completely asleep. I had my moments where I veered slightly off course, but hey, I lived to tell about it.

I stumbled through the workday. I couldn’t wait to get to the hotel and relax. My idea of relaxing is to plug in my iPod and go for a 2-mile run. I was psyched. I unpacked the suitcase and reached for my running shorts only to find I forgot to pack the friggin’ things. Man was I pissed. I decided I HAD to run so I decided to go out and buy some. So in my dress slacks and Old Navy tee-shirt, off I went. There was a Marshall’s close by and although I hated that store, I figured I could find a cheap pair of shorts. Simple right? I looked and looked and there were no running shorts to be had. None. Unbelievable! I was steaming mad now. I vowed never to step into a Marshall’s again.

Resigned to skipping the run, luck was on my side. There on my left was my least favorite store of all-time. The dreaded Wal-Mart. I hate that cluttered, messy, no rhyme-or-reason set up of a store. But it was all I had so again, I figured I’d zip in and buy a $5 pair of shorts that would last one wash. I looked and looked once again getting madder by the minute. No shorts. I was f-bombing the store out loud. I couldn’t believe this crappy store had no running shorts. I demanded assistance and the lady said it was Winter and they had no shorts. Winter? In Florida? It was 83 degrees today. Gimme a break. I let off a few more f-bombs vowing never to return to Wal-Mart.

I was so aggravated. All I wanted to do is run. Stress relief. I sorely needed it. I got back to my room and stared at my open suitcase. A Wile E. Coyote light bulb went off in my head. I was staring at my Calvin Klein boxers. Hmm, surely I couldn’t. No way. Way. I said, Calvin let’s go runnin.” My new Garden State-Of-Mind attitude said who cares who looks at you, go for it. So I put the Calvins on and looked in the mirror. They were a little short for my taste, but beggars can’t b choosy. I plugged in my iPod and off I went.

I immediately noticed a few differences. First of all, there was a lot more flopping going on down there and an occasional peek-a-boo. But I felt freer. Fastball’s The Way never sounded so good. Before I knew it, I was halfway home with only one mile to go. I rounded the turn into the hotel and had 3 laps around the circular parking lot left. As I ran these final circles, the song MAD WORLD came across my shuffling iPod…”when people run in circles its a very very… Mad World, Mad World…” I couldn’t agree more. I zipped around the lot three times and hit the ‘stop’ on my watch and looked at my time. 14 minutes 46 seconds. The run in my Calvins broke my career best time by 8 seconds! I felt great. I did my cool down walk as the Indigo Girls’ Galileo came on. It’s a catchy tune and I started singing it. There I was singing Indigo Girls wearing my Calvins. What an image! What a day! I gotta start getting some sleep…


  • What the feck?? You did 2 miles in 4:46??? It IS a mad world. By the way, I've never heard the re-make...I'll stick with the Tears version. Love that tune.
    "I find it kind of funny,
    I find it kind of sad.
    The dreams in which I'm dying
    are the best I've ever had."


    By Blogger Bubbles, Ink., at 7:29 AM, December 07, 2004  

  • LX,

    Thanks for the correction. That's what happens when you try to type at 4 am. I'm a traditionalist, too. Love the T4Fs version, but go to Tower records and sample the Gary Jules version. It's haunting. It's amazing.

    By Blogger Plantation, at 9:18 AM, December 07, 2004  

  • I can't say that I have ever calculated the number of hours I've slept in a month. That is *awesome.*

    By Blogger Miss MyLastName, at 9:56 PM, December 07, 2004  

  • Yeah, I'm going to repeat your earlier conclusion: you need more sleep.

    But, don't we all!

    By Blogger Esther Kustanowitz, at 12:08 AM, December 08, 2004  

  • Better late than never:
    I'm a native Floridian and it gets COLD down here! Yes, 60 degrees is very close to freezing to me!! :)


    By Blogger dailycandii, at 1:20 AM, December 10, 2004  

  • I love that song. But I heard the re-make and it totally destroyed it for me. ITS SO FOOKEN BAD!
    but mad world is a bloody good song mate.
    its 9.04 in victoria, australia rite now. i'd just like to state that we DON'T ride kangaroos to get around! pisses me off when ppl ask that.
    wot ever

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:05 PM, November 15, 2005  

  • Thanks mate for the comment.

    By Blogger Plantation, at 6:30 PM, November 15, 2005  

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