Tetris Legs

Anyone play Tetris? I’ve been playing it a lot this week. A LOT. I’ve been playing Tertris on my phone, in fact, every time my laptop has crashed and had to be rebooted. Which has been… A LOT. I’m seeing something new and shiny, and possibly red, or maybe white in my future. But until then, I’m playing Tetris on the iPhone non-stop. And when I play a lot of Tetris, this thing happens to me at night. I’ll go to bed as usual, I’ll close my eyes… and my brain will start to show me lots of little Tetris blocks, falling, falling, always falling. And rather than sleeping, I’ll lie there and try to play Tetris in my own fool head. It’s like I can’t switch it off.

The same thing used to happen to me at my first job. (Well, my second job, really, but those two weeks in McDonald’s don’t really count.) I worked in a call centre (Yes! I was one of THOSE people! How may I help you?) and the job was hugely repetitive, involving me typing more or less the same commands into the computer over and over again. And every night, after my shift, I would go to bed and when I closed my eyes, my mind would start repeating those same commands, over and over again. My hands would even twitch, as if trying to type on invisible keys.

Then I got a job working for the local paper as an “editorial assistant”, which was just another way of saying “typist”. My job was to type up the community news pages. It took me two full days per week, and must have involved the typing of thousands and thousands of words, to a deadline. After THAT job I’d go home and try to go to sleep, but every thought that went through my head, I’d feel like I should be typing it out, because my brain couldn’t seem to accept the fact that NO, there was no more typing required.

And now it’s running. I did a lot of running this week, all of it on the treadmill at the gym, because it was cold out and I can’t seem to find any routes near the house that don’t involve massive hills. (This will be changing next week, though, because honestly, The Others are going to land me in some serious trouble soon if their habit of clinging to my side like leeches doesn’t stop. And it won’t.) Then, last night, when I went to bed, I closed my eyes and saw… the front of the treadmill and the view out of the gym window. And my legs suddenly felt like they should be moving: left-right-left-right, runrunrun. No matter how many times I tried to think about something else, my brain would be all, “uh-uh. It wasn’t enough that we ran for an hour today.  I’m going to make you relive every last step of that run, and I’m going to do it now. Unless you feel like playing some Tetris, maybe?”

I’m taking a couple of days off from running. And Tetris. (Well, maybe not Tetris, actually…) I think I need it…