Ever since I got this CPAP mask for my sleep apnea, it's been a very rare occasion when I have not been able to go back to sleep after waking up in the middle of the night. But this is one of those nights, which is now not night but rather early Saturday morning before I trudge off to work. I've been awake for two hours but it's felt like all night, and I actually don't know why. I didn't have caffeine after my second cup of coffee yesterday morning. I may have been a little amped up watching the two college basketball games that ended around the same time last night after 11P, but I managed to fall asleep within an hour of those conclusions. I just woke up around 3:30A and never fell back asleep. I may have had failed relationships on my mind subconsciously because I ran through them in my mind as I attempted to fall back asleep, but it didn't work to make me sleepy this time, just more and more anxious. So I'm typing out some of my anxieties in an attempt to help the time pass before I have to shower and go to work, and also to try to hash out some of what could be on my mind that made me not fall back asleep for the first time in a long, long time.
Before the thoughts of past failed relationships clouded my head a couple of hours ago, I had a somewhat stressful past week living the ups and downs of the college basketball tournament, and that certainly needs to be explained by me because the tournament by itself is no reason to stress anyone out. But you may have heard about billionaire Warren Buffett announcing the concept of giving away one billion dollars--$1,000,000,000!!--for free to any schlub who signed up for his bracket challenge and submitted a perfect bracket, that is, predicted all six rounds of the NCAA basketball tournament correctly before the tournament began. That's a 64-team bracket, 63 games to predict correctly, and the odds of anyone doing it are so astronomical that I won't even go Google it again because it's depressing. But I signed up anyway because I always sign up for these bracket challenges, even when the prize is a Best Buy gift card or something else relatively meaningless, because it's always free to sign up for these things, and why can't I have the best bracket someday? I can get lucky, right? Well, the first day of the tournament was last Thursday, and I was off work because it's my normal off day, and so I got to watch live as the first game of the day was an upset that I predicted correctly...then the rest of those first games all went in my favor...then the second slate of games all went in my favor...then I started humblebragging on Twitter about my perfect afternoon...then Dove Men + Care started Tweeting at me from out of nowhere asking for my upset picks for the evening games, of which I only had one...then the evening games played out in unreal fashion with three different overtime nail-biters, including one where the team I picked was losing by double digits late in the game but somehow rallied to force OT, and then all of those picks won, including my only upset pick of the night...then I go to sleep and wake up to see that the late games all went my way, capping off a perfect 16-0 first day. I went to work absolutely flying high. My brain kept bouncing the impossibility of a perfect bracket off the improbability of a perfect first day, and if I did that, why couldn't I keep it going, even though it had nothing to do with me and everything to do with which random team of 20-year-olds would decide not to show up that day and lose a game they should win? And what would my wife and I do with a billion dollars, and if Warren Buffett offered a buyout with three games to go, should I take it or negotiate or let it roll, and...the first game of the second day was Duke getting upset by some school I never heard of, and there went the dream. I had to watch the score slowly updating on my phone because I was on my lunch break, so that made it even more excruciating than if I were watching live. At least watching I can curse at the screen or something. The real stress came when I got home that night and read the rules of the Warren Buffett bracket contest and saw that the top 20 brackets each won $100,000. This money was absolutely within my grasp because I didn't have to have a perfect bracket, but rather just have a bracket better than almost everyone else, and that's still right there for me because I had only lost one game through the first 24 played, and I can pay all my bills and get a new car with that money, and go back to school, and it's still life-changing...and then I lost two more games Friday night, and one of those teams was one of my Final Four, basically fucking up any chance I had of having a top-20 bracket. I took more losses last weekend, and then last night, Louisville lost, and that was my championship prediction, and now there's completely no way I'm going to make anything off of this tournament, even with that perfect first day, and Dove Men + Care isn't Tweeting me anymore, and the podcast I did with "Jacob" the night before the tourney began documenting all of our picks that I thought would be out there as testament to my genius is instead just another set of ramblings by a loser, and I'm back to square one financially, and I don't know if that's the reason I couldn't sleep, but it may have been even though I really haven't thought about the game since it ended. But if you know me or have read this blog, you know that it doesn't take a whole lot to set off insecurities inside me about being a loser in life and coming up short and not being good enough.
That brought me to lying in bed at 3:30A cycling through all of my failed relationships, not just women, although almost all of them women, but "Ronnie" and even my dad as well. I didn't jump mentally to wanting to cycle through all of my failed relationships, that's just where my mind went hours after losing a big game in which I was invested even though I don't gamble any more. When I lose, I feel like a big loser, and it weighs on me. I guess that's why I was picking through all of my relationships, sexual or not. Speaking of weight, that's another issue I've been battling lately. I mean, I've always been a fat ass, but I had the health scare last year and the diabetes and high blood pressure crap my doctor dropped on me, and I improved my diet a little after that, but I've gone back to eating bad things, salty, sugary things, a lot, like, at least three sugary treats a day even when I don't intend to indulge, and I still feel like I could stop any time I really wanted to apply myself, but the truth is, I probably would fail at that too and cheat. Unless I leave my wallet at home and refuse to bring cookies and candy into the house, I am going to indulge when I get that craving because that craving is almost as strong as a sexual craving that would make me take liberties with a woman because I want nothing more at that moment than that woman. I'm sure there's a simple chemical explanation for it, but the same "I shouldn't but I can't help myself" craving that I have when I buy a sweet snack from the vending machine at work feels very much like the same craving I had when I was dating "Karen" but went on the internet and saw pictures of "Sarah" with clothespins on her nipples and sent e-mails to her telling her how hard she made my dick and how I had to have her. It's the same craving I had when I was dating Sarah yet felt compelled to flirt online with her daughter "Elaine," and the same craving when I lied to Sarah over the phone and told her that my co-worker and I were having an innocent dinner date while that co-worker had her legs wrapped around my waist. It feels like something bigger than me. It feels like if I don't answer that urge RIGHT DAMN NOW, my mind is going to explode, and in one swift motion, I'm typing that e-mail to Sarah, I'm typing that IM to The Co-Worker Who Shall Not Be Named and asking her to fuck me, I'm in a hotel room trying to fuck Susan's daughter and her best friend, and once I get what I want, then everything's all good in my world, until I get that next craving. (Oh, and I've had that craving occur during my marriage. I've stopped myself from indulging other women, but I remember how strong that craving was when I was in my 20s, and I don't think I would have stopped myself.) The problem with answering the food urge is, I'm close to 400 lbs. and feel like shit most days, and I'm going to Chicago next weekend and I have to get around using public transportation because I don't have a car up there, and however lazy I was when I lived there, I'm worse now because I don't have to walk anywhere, and I'm anxious because I'm going to not enjoy my time up there as much as I want because I'm going to be so tired, and it pisses me off. I don't know with all this technology why I can't buy something that gets rid of 100 lbs. and gives me energy and lung capacity in about 15 minutes. Oh, and my uncle has been arranging conference calls with the folks who went with him on that cruise last year to discuss another cruise next May to the Caribbean or maybe Cozumel, Mexico, and what happened on last year's cruise? Oh yeah, my obese ass nearly passed out on the beach and had to be carted back to the boat. So as much fun as my wife and I had, talking about a new cruise brings back in my mind the anxiety over losing weight, and saving the money to pay for it, which brings back the anxiety over missing out on free money because of the college basketball games, and really ties it all together for me. Add in my coffee addiction (honestly, I can't go one morning now without a cup of coffee, and usually two), and my wife and I not connecting well lately between our being tired from work and all of the attention I pay to sports, and somewhere in all of that is the reason I was so anxious that I couldn't fall back asleep three and a half hours ago. And now it's time for me to go to work. This should be some day. I imagine with my lack of sleep and dredging up all sorts of old memories, I'm liable to snap and curse someone out if they get on my bad side. Hope I still have a job next time I write.