It’s been a very long time since I fell asleep at the wheel while driving home.
The first time, it was after a 16+ hour overnight in the high desert and I dozed off while stuck in rush hour gridlock. I woke up when my face hit the steering wheel, but luckily my foot never came off the brake.
There have been a few more times over the years – mostly just weaving on the road and having to roll down the windows or stomp the floor of the car with my left foot.
It just became a thing. Night work meant a fun drive home trying to out-weave the drunks, but I never felt concerned (if I should have is another post).
But I was really frightened Saturday morning when I dozed off while travelling southbound on the 405 at approximately 80 mph.
Luckily, I just weaved in my lane and then stomped the hell out of the floor of my car and made it home.
Wait.. let me back up.
This time of year work is thin, so when I got a call to work Monday, Wednesday, and Friday I said yes before I asked any questions.
It was only after I was booked that the best boy told me it would be all nights on the other side of town.
Nights bother me a lot more now than they did when I was younger – I have a much harder time adjusting, and if I’m flipping between days and nights it’s even worse.
It would have been bad form for me to say ‘no’ after accepting the job, even with the construction in the unit above me (they say they’re remodeling it, but really I just think they’re chopping holes in the walls, patching them and cutting them out again just for practice), so I was stuck.
Lucky for me I was with a wonderful bunch of guys that I really like a lot – but that construction starts up at 7 am and I can’t sleep later, even with earplugs and a white noise machine, so even with the interim days off I spent an entire week on so little sleep I think it might have qualified as cruel and unusual.
As an added bonus, Friday’s pre-call ‘breakfast’ of a seemingly harmless turkey burger resulted in a three-day bout with rotavirus.
I got picked up for this week as well, which is great, but it’s been 7 am call times all week. Between the sleep loss and the power cleanse today was the first day I’ve felt even vaguely human.
Tomorrow, our call time is 6 am in west bumfuck, so I will have to get out of bed at 4:30. AM.
We have 9 pages to shoot, but it’s all day exterior and we don’t have enough lamps to make daylight*, so it can’t go all that late.
Since I didn’t post anything last week, please enjoy an apology photo of uplit trees and a condor with someone besides me in the basket:
*It is possible to shoot day exterior at night, but you need a lot of equipment. Like a 48 foot trailer full of HMIs. Then, when the sun goes down, we unload the truck and curse our poor life decisions.