The Strokes lull quietly in my headphones and I can feel my eyes drooping and sloshing about under my eyelids. It's Tuesday morning and all I can think about are the two cups of coffee I will strategically gulp down in order to survive until 6.
The first cup: a red eye from Starbucks, all coffee and a shot of espresso. No room for cream. No bullshit. Consumed at 8:30A.M. for maximum performance until noon. The second, a frothy mess of chocolate and coffee from the little Italian place next door to the office, because those fuckers make their coffee strong. At 2P.M. you can always count on a little sugar.
A stellar sleepless night has left me running on empty.
I'm wiping the death from my eyes absent mindlessly and realize that the raccoon's worth of eyeliner I applied in an attempt to look rested has come off all over my pale hand. My blonde hair is all over the place and I can feel the wicker like strands of it falling out of my braid with each bump on the train track. At this point, I'm wondering if the strangers smashed next to me on the train think I'm a junkie, or just someone who doesn't give a fuck. Either way, this is not a good look.
My limbs are hanging off my body like foreign objects attached to me by aliens. I can't even begin to describe my mind, which is attempting to race even though the pit crew forgot to fill it with high octane.
There is no easy way to run on empty. When you're up against that desperate feeling associated with listening to your neighbors rip each other's hair out until 5 in the morning, the only real solution is sleep: the healthy, natural kind that some of us only hear about in fairy tales.
However, when work calls and you must attempt to present yourself as a "well adjusted" adult there are a few alternatives:
The obvious helper is coffee, but as I previously mapped out, the cups must be consumed with purpose. If you gulp them down willy nilly you're going to feel worse than a car crash come 2P.M. Follow the formula of one cup in the morning and one at two, pepper the time between with lots of water. Hydration is key for those of us who operate like crypt keepers.
You've also got to eat breakfast and lunch if you want to appear normal. It should be carb-loaded like a bagel or a sandwich. You have to get your energy from somewhere right? If you solely operate on coffee you'll be more jittery than Tony Montana in a cocaine factory. So eat something idiot.
The next thing you can do is turn down the brightness on all of your devices. Computer, phone, tablet...whatever. Your eyes are probably as dry as the Sahara due to the lack of moisture regeneration, so give them a break.
You should also take some Advil or other painkiller throughout the day because your body will feel sore. When you don't sleep, you don't recharge. Your body can't repair all the bullshit from the previous day, and the painkiller will help ease that.