I chat it up with a gay couple having dinner at the bar. They’re super friendly. Triston looks at me and then looks in his phone. “I’m trying to figure out who Lindsay looks like.” I’m pretty busy so I go about my business. After about ten minutes he tells me it’s Natalie Portman. Yes! Best compliment ever. I don’t think I really look like her, but when I start talking I remind people of her.
The first person who told me that was Mike – which I think is why he started to like me in the first place. “Have you ever seen the movie Garden State?” No. “Well, you remind me of Natalie Portman’s character.” Well I’ll have to see for myself. This was 2005. My brother actually had a thing for Natalie – I think because of Star Wars. I was talking to him on the phone and told him someone told me I reminded him of Natalie Portman. He cut me off, disgusted. “Lindsay, I know. I just saw Garden State, and she was acting just like you. I can’t like her anymore.” Seriously? I then watched the movie and realized that she is kind of a weirdo in it. I don’t act quirky like that. But whatever, she’s like, my favorite actress, so if I remind people of her weird side I’ll take it.
Last year, when she won the Academy Award she started laughing on stage. It was a really bad laugh. The next day at work my boss told me he was watching the Oscars and he realized I looked like her. I’d been working with him for two years and not until she did a weird laugh on TV did I look like her. Again, I’ll take it!
Sunday I have a field hockey game at 11am and it’s supposed to rain all day. It’s on turf, but I don’t know if California people handle the weather as well as the east coast. I email Rebecca the night before and let her know I have to leave by 9:30 to make it on time, so if the game gets cancelled to please let me know before then. She says we’ll be fine to play in the rain. I wake up and drive the whole way in the pouring rain, passing two accidents on the way. I pull into the parking lot, and a referee is walking towards his car. I roll down my window. “We’re done for the day.” That’s awesome, dude. Breathe, Lindsay. I go in my phone and sign up for a spin class at 4:15. At least I can do something physical before work at 6.
So this whole not drinking for a week is really hard – and I’m only on Day 3. Working in a bar doesn’t exactly help. The best part is that when my alarm goes off at 8am it’s easy to get right up. The worst part is falling asleep. I’ve always had difficulty falling asleep. Drinking helps, or sleeping pills. Mike hates when I take something to fall asleep. “You can fall asleep. It’s all in your head.” Well I’m not disputing that it’s all in my head. I know it is. That doesn’t really change anything. It started at a very young age. I shared a room with Sarah until high school and she always fell asleep before me. Sometimes I would ask her to tell me a story. They were always really good stories. Every once in a while she’d ask me to tell her one. I’d get nervous. I couldn’t make one up so I would just tell a story I already knew. Probably a Disney movie or I would make something up and it’d be stupid and she would tell me to stop. Sometimes I would go wake Mom. “Think about something happy.” Like what? “I don’t know, Lindsay.” I’d close my eyes and picture a pile of presents. It was a picture in my head; not a thought. It didn’t help. That stupid pile of presents under a Christmas tree was not interesting. Mom, I can’t sleep. “Get on your hands and knees and shake your head back and forth.” I did this a lot. I’d do it right over my pillow and then fall into it from dizziness. That didn’t really work either.
It got really bad in college. I figured it was being away from home – and being in an uncomfortable bed. It was junior year that my doctor prescribed me ambien. That was the good stuff right there. I’d take it before bed, but sometimes I’d sit on AIM until I started to feel tired. One time I was IMing Sarah and she said I started to not make any sense. I was just hitting keys. I had a laptop, and two little speakers on either side. I swear those speakers came to life. They didn’t exactly talk to me, but they were like living things. Once when I was home on break I woke up in the morning and walked downstairs. There was a paper towel on the rug in the family room. I lifted it up and there was a huge cranberry juice stain on the floor. What the hell? I went to bed before Sarah and the twins last night, so one of them obviously got drunk, spilled their drink and didn’t bother to clean it up. I’m pissed. I think Courtney is the only one home, so I yell up to her. Courtney, did you seriously spill cranberry juice all over the floor and just leave it there? Courtney stares at me wide-eyed for a second. “Lindsay, are YOU serious?” What? “You spilled it.” Yea right. No, I didn’t. Like I would even drink cranberry juice. “Lindsay, you went to bed. Then you came downstairs like an hour later and went into the kitchen. You came in here with a pint glass full of cranberry juice and you were eating triscuits and fluff. You spilled your drink everywhere, dropped a paper towel on it, and went back upstairs.” Holy crap. No I didn’t. Now she’s laughing. “Yes you did.” Wow. That’s a problem. So you couldn’t clean up my mess? Just kidding.
I haven’t taken sleeping pills in almost a year, but sometimes I’ll take some kind of drowsy medicine or just drink a couple glasses of wine before bed. So now I just lay in bed and think. About nothing and everything. I think about work and get heated. That’s pointless. I think about Mike dying. That’s weird, but everyone does it (I think). I think about tomorrow, this week, next month, my goals, things I need to do. It’s exhausting. I try not to think but it’s so hard. Mike lays down and he sleeps. I am so jealous of him sometimes.
So yea, not being able to fall asleep is the worst. The second worst thing is that writing is so much easier when I’m drinking. I can come home from work at 11 and have a glass of wine and write. Without that wine, I’m so unmotivated. So there’s that.
*Eric Burdon & War