I don't really sleep.
Little known piece of Spaceship Days lore though it may be, it is alas an inconvenient truth. Two or three hours at a time is all I can normally manage, and not even every day. Pretty ironic, as I spent the bulk of my twenties laying down with my eyes closed; its like I used up all of my allotted ZZz's too early.
There is something of an upside to being a insomniac though. I use the wee hours to get plenty of work done, there's always time to exercise, and I've become a full on infomercial connoisseur. Lots of classic movies on late at night too. Flicks like "Switchblade Sisters" don't get that much play on prime time television but I've seen it twice this month already. OK--classic "B" movies.
Unfortunately being a non sleeper carries the requirement of periodic crashes--I'll sleep for ten sometimes twelve or more hours solid when the time comes. Said timing always seems to be bad, but when sleep finally does decide to be my friend, she is extremely hard to resist.
This last time came on a long stretch of highway.
As one of those annoying slow drivers that many flip off from time to time, I log lots of road time over in the slow lane. There I was, rolling along and listening to one of my many mix CDs. I give them silly little names like New Jedi Order, Picture Day Blues, or My Cousin is a Superhero. No meaning behind the titles really, other than Megamix Number...Whatever being just so dull; one must keep ones-self amused after all. This particular CD was called Everybody Happy? I had it up loud, because sleep was pressing down quite insistently on my eyelids and I was still a fair distance from home.
I blinked at the sound of a tooting horn and the disconcerting screech of tires. It seemed that during a previous 'blink' my car had drifted across two lanes of traffic, and into the fast lane hard toward the dividing wall. With the cruise control on, I'd been just a moment away from slamming into it at upwards of 60mph. The driver whom I'd cut off was still laying on the horn while swerving around me.
I took back control of my vehicle, with a few colorful expletives to honor the over all mood. Another heartbeat, and there would have been no more bass playing.
The very first thing I noticed when I came back to my normal not scared witless senses (even before doing a quick mental survey to make sure I hadn't gone Number One all over the place ) was that a David Bowie tune was playing.
Don't get me wrong, I love the man. He has been alternately number three, or four on my Top 5 Favorite All Time Artists for approaching two decades, but Moonage Daydream isn't exactly the last song I'd want to hear while still shuffling on this mortal coil.
I made it home safe, and sound. For the remainder of the trip, sleep was kept at bay by the gallon or so of adrenaline galloping through me, and the question that jumped into my head a few miles away from where I almost went boom.
Well, I've been semi retired from coffee drinking for years now, but I've dusted off my trusty Spaceship Days Coffee Mug for all subsequent road trips, night time or otherwise. Safer to get a beat down from sleep while on the couch, or at the computer, even in the shower - so the plan is to keep good and caffeinated while behind the wheel. It's worked quite well so far, but I still haven't come up with an answer to that question.
If I were able to have my light switch off the way we all want: At home. In bed. Surrounded by old friends and great-grand children, and other happy things, What would I want to be the last piece of music I ever got to hear?
How about you? What would you want to be your final song?