Ask your friend who recently started a trendy new boutique workout to explain it in second-by-second detail (including how they felt during it, what they ate afterward, and how their digestion was affected the rest of the day) into their phone’s mic and email you the audio file so you can listen to it in bed after taking melatonin.
Framing it as a gift, tell your sibling with 47,304 unread emails that you want to organize them all into folders. Swallow a spoonful of apple cider vinegar every time you archive an email from yourself that asked for something time-sensitive that remains unread, years later, and wonder if technology is perhaps putting distance between us rather than making us closer. Warm milk also works.
Attend a corporate training session on recycling where the content of the speaker’s speech is contained word-for-word in the handout they gave you upon entering the room and word-for-word on the deck behind them. Begin mouthing it along with them while doing your most intensive worrying about climate change so you can be all worried-out when you get into bed nine hours later and fall right asleep.
Buy an Amtrak ticket and board the train. Put some lavender essential oil on your tray table. Attempt to connect to the promised on-board WiFi. Stare at the screen as the pinwheel spins. You’ll wake up refreshed at your destination, smelling of lavender and still without WiFi.
Take a hot bath. Dry off. Climb into your cool bed and read the 4,000-word Facebook post of your extremely tenured college English professor as they explain why technically TWO spaces after a period, NOT one, will always be correct. Turn up the AC as you slide into a dream world where an eighty-two year old retires to make room for the glut of more recent PhDs on the job market.
Give your address to one nonprofit theater in your city in an online form one time. Wait until they’ve distributed that address to seemingly every theater in the entire world. Collect all the mailers that constantly bombard your house from theaters in faraway places that are all somehow doing A Doll’s House Part Two. Shred them. Create a nest. Get in your nonprofit nest of dreams. Feeling safe in the confined space, stare at the images of the play you will never see in cities you will never visit while you ponder the deteriorating state of digital privacy these days.
Select one of your 20 friends who has been to Reykjavik in the past eighteen months. Have them come over and sit next to your bed, but not in it because it’s been proven it’s easier to sleep alone. Let them tell you what the sky looked like when it didn’t get dark at night there, ever — can you believe it! Tell them you can. Ask them which airline rewards credit card they think provides the best benefits while they braid your hair.
Go to your college reunion. Drink only water because alcohol dehydrates you and disrupts your sleep cycle. Find a beanbag chair. Ask your freshman-year roommate, who studied political science, if they think the US is ready to abandon the two-party political system. Stop drinking water early enough that you don’t have to wake up in the middle of the explanation to pee.
When your most loquacious co-worker rambles by your cubicle and says, “You’ll never guess what happened in my dream last night!” immediately spend two months teaching them how to use Audacity and make their description of their dreams into a recurring podcast with very excellent sound design. Create a Patreon for them that becomes very popular so they are now conscripted into a having a full-time job and a very heavy side hustle, but the gig economy has become so normalized under late-stage capitalism that they think nothing of it. Listen to the podcast at night in bed while wearing noise-canceling headphones.
Find a comfortable chair at a dinner party. Take a Tylenol PM. If you do not have a child, ask a parent to explain the rules of the public school lottery. If you do have a child, ask someone without one to explain the rules of Tinder. Even if you battle the Tylenol PM and stay awake, you will feel as if you are trapped in a nightmare.
Stop using your phone a minimum of one hour before you go to bed.