Days like this I think I'm manic. I've been sleeping a lot probably still because of chemo, and I keep sleeping later and later and then I have to get up early some time and I screw up my inner clock. Last night I went to bed late but this morning I couldn't sleep. I got up early (meaning, in the single digits). I drank decaf and milk. I met with a client and had an iced latte with rice milk. I wrote emails. I am helping arrange practica for students. I am the middle-gal, writing to the student and to the person helping arrange the classes. I'm feeling that I'm writing too many emails. Do the receivers discern my franticness? Do they think I'm irrational, beyond caffeinated? A student is helping me organize a party for grad students at WRU (Well-Regarded University). In the past we had alcohol we bought ourselves. We're finding out this was illegal and we could have been liable if someone had--we don't even want to think about what someone could have done. Gone beserk at the party, after the party. Been a danger to himself and others. If we served alcohol to someone arrested later for DUI, could we be arrested under the dram- shop ordinance? I don't want to think about it. Nothing bad happened last year or the year before during or after the parties. I am the middle-gal here, too, going back and forth from the student who's helping me and who's hearing from caterers about not following the rules, to the administrator who knows what the rules are. When I don't get enough sleep I am hyper. I am drunk on not-enough sleep. I lived like this for most of high school. Diet Dr. Peppers, No-Doz, five hours a sleep a night on weeknights and a visit to the opthamolologist: Why do I have headaches? Always a lump in my throat because--well, partly because I was nervous and irritable from not enough sleep--and partly because that is my nature. See many posts below about pills I take now to keep melancholia and despair at bay. Those pills were just a glimmer in an R&D researcher's eye back when I was in high school. On weekends I would sleep 12, 14 hours. I stayed at school until 2am working on the semi-weekly school paper. We worked in a separate little building (one of the "shacks") on campus, which had a Selectric typewriter, printing machine, couch, fridge, and a closet in which a stray cat had given birth. The editors had keys and I was an editor. The main school building closed at 10pm or so. Once we went inside the building for the bathroom, and set off the alarm at about 1am and the cops came. Several cars of 'em. Probably all of the cop cars that existed in the little suburb where the school was (surrounded by the city; our school was part of the Houston Independent School District). We had to call the principal (on the pay phone) to vouch for us to the police. He did. He knew us. We went home. We were outraged but amused and contained. When the other editor and I went away to (the same) college, the principal gave us $20 so we could go out for a nice meal.

In high school I was miserable because of the anxious lump in my throat, and because I wasn't accepted into an Ivy League school (Both L and I were wait-listed at Brown, in different years; and we're both still waiting for our numbers to come up), but those aren't terrible things. The afternoon of my 18th birthday I skipped school and smoked dope for the very first time with my boyfriend and his friend at a playground near an elementary school. We weren't caught. One night I sneaked out my bedroom window and smoked dope and hash with this boyfriend and I wasn't caught. (And I didn't get high. I'm impervious.) I drank beer with girl friends during lunch and we came back and played a very giggly and spirited volleyball game in gym and we weren't caught. On Saturday nights we had parties at the houses of friends whose parents were out of town and we didn't get caught. We didn't know you shouldn't drink and drive. The admonition hadn't been invented yet. We drove to Fredericksburg near Austin for Oktoberfest. The drinking age was 18 and all of us were 17. At the fest I got so drunk I poured beer down the front of a (male) friend's shirt on purpose. (We're still friends.) The summer after graduation (or else the next) I had a party and when it was over a friend wouldn't wake up on the living room couch. The rest of us decided around 5am we had to get him up and out so my father wouldn't come across him on his way to breakfast. Somehow we maneuvered this friend into his car and we followed him as he slowly, very slowly, drove home. How could we? But nothing bad happened. A few years later he realized he was an alcoholic and quit drinking. But not in high school. Excess wasn't recognized as such then. Except there was a boy who was going to be a doctor and he got very drunk and rammed his car and became paralyzed. We don't know what happened to him next. At all.