Footloose and Shamblin’ Free

The life-challenged don’t sleep, not the way that breathers do. Since our brains only function at a very basic level, they don’t need to shut down and recharge for eight hours at a stretch. And of course we never need to dream. Dreams and nightmares are your brain’s way of flushing out anxiety. We are the nightmare-inducing anxiety.

That doesn’t mean, though, that we don’t need to relax once in a while. Raising and home-schooling three little shamblers is hard work, especially for someone with half a brain. With the days getting longer and the nights getting warmer, here are a few ideas for anyone looking to kick back and vegetate in their own fluids for a while.

Read a bad book. I mean an awful book. Dreadful writing, lousy plot, wooden characters that make the extras in a Romero movie look like Oscar-caliber performers. Anything by VC Andrews is a sure hit, as are Danielle Steele or EL James. Read something so trite and predictable that you’ll come away from it refreshed and feeling like an intellectual giant. If you’re a writer yourself, this is a must. Nothing recharges the old batteries faster than thinking, “And you made a million bucks? I can totally do this!”

Visit the beach. If the weather’s nice enough to go swimming (or wading or floundering, depending on your muscle tone and state of decay) that’s fun too, but just getting out in the sun and watching the water move is great for the soul—even if you’re not sure if you have one. Bring a book (maybe one of those awful ones I mentioned; there’s a reason they’re called beach reads) or just sit and stare for an hour or two. You’ll come away feeling like a fresh corpse. If you’re lucky you might be discovered by a couple who mistakes you for a murder victim.

This can be hilarious or delicious depending on where you want to go with it.
Take your shamblers someplace fun and turn them loose. Nothing makes me want to chew my own face off like constant whines of “I’m bored” or “It’s too hot” or “She won’t give me my leg back.” Now that our curriculum schedule is set to an easier pace, we have more free time. The beach isn’t a such a good choice for this if your kids happen to be alive; constantly watching to make sure they’re still breathing makes relaxation difficult. But there are parks, forest preserves, or your local community center.

There are usually lots of kids for mine to play with, and on a good day I don’t have to make dinner afterwards.

Ride a train. This last tip may sound odd, but it’s terrific fun. Get up early in the morning, hop on a train, and ride until you’re tired of it. Get off at a random destination and explore. You might find a fun new store or restaurant you never knew existed. I’m always on the lookout for new taste experiences for my children, so I get very excited when I find a place that serves exotic foods. The people there have great taste.

Whether or not you need to sleep, everyone needs a break from reality once in a while. This goes double for people whose reality is sometimes a real horror movie.

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