So, you get three neighbor guys of middle age who know one another quite well out walking their dogs early on a Sunday morning and what do they talk about? They talk about things that give them pleasure.
So, you would be thinking maybe sex and females in general. But, in the case of yesterday, not a topic of discussion. Sports and favorite teams? Nope. Families? Didn’t come up.
What we discussed in lieu of those otherwise worthy topics was the sheer decadent and sensual pleasure that can be found in a well-earned afternoon nap. When that topic arose eyes lit up in the triumvirate.
Yes the Dagwood mode seemed to have a great appeal. It’s such an indolent thing to do, and yet it’s not only healthy, it’s even recommended in assorted clinical circles. And it’s a natural response to the hours of the day, especially in context of that mid-afternoon slump.
In some jurisdictions it’s even institutionalized as in the siesta in Italy and assorted Latin cultures. People need to sleep at that time, and want to sleep at that time, so why not make it an aspect of the mores of the place.
The first time I ran into the siesta phenomenon was in Rome many years ago. It actually became a good time of day to go and do some sightseeing, despite the afternoon heat, because the crowds on the streets were sparse. The only downside I noticed was that instead to two rush-hours each day, there were four. Dodging Fiats can get tiring, especially considering the way many Italians drive.
But, that’s an aside. Back to napping in general. When the impulse strikes me it’s not to be denied. Indeed if a nap is looming I’m relentless in pursuing my quest. Much as at an earlier stage of my life I was relentless about pursuing certain other adventures, activities and sometimes people who were enchanting me.
Not saying those things don’t still happen, it’s just that nap need strikes me with the same self-indulgent persistence.
My naps are always on the living room couch and they are never more than about ¾ of an hour. If it runs longer I end up feeling groggy and won’t sleep as well at night. But, evidently, the time spent napping makes for a good and restorative sleep, according to professional sleep guys. I actually used to be able to 20-minute power nap when I was working as a reporter and sometimes had a night assignment. Such bits of soporific bliss always did what they were meant to.
As it is now, I’ll stretch out with my book of the moment and decide that I am going to read. That works for about three pages. Then the words begin to run together. In the next step I’ll be reading words that don’t even exist on the page. My slumbering mind is developing a new story that is ridiculously removed from the actual one. Wait, did the writer actually say “pregnant mongoose”? I shake my head and realize no such reference exists in the text. I’ll attempt to persevere a little longer, but soon I give up. Set the book aside and embrace slumber. I’ll be ‘gone’ in an instant, even though the room is light and there is traffic noise in the street. Oddly, at night, I demand that the room be pitch-black and I am kept awake by any extraneous noises. I don’t know why that is.
All I know is I’m not alone in relishing the afternoon nap, and I know I could be involved in worse pursuits, so I refuse to feel guilty.