It’s a slow Monday at work after a busy weekend. At 10:30, I’m having a hell of a time keeping my eyes open. This is not unusual; in fact it’ll happen to me again at around 4:00 this afternoon, as it does nearly every day. Luckily, I drive a desktop, so I’m not endangering anyone else with my dozing.
I hate it: that inability to give in to a pleasant nap coming at the same instant as the inability to stay awake. I start daydreaming about bringing a cot in to work or closing myself in one of the “workforce reduction”-vacated offices and snoring away for an hour or so. Then I read this article in the WaPo about modafinil (brand name Provigil), a miracle drug which can let me go for forty hours without sleep, without speed jitters, without the amphetamine crash, and most importantly, without the loss of focus other stimulants leave you with.
Had this drug been more widely known, perhaps the US Air National Guard would not have “accidentally” bombed and killed Canadian troops in Afghanistan. Perhaps we could keep medical residents working their average 93-hour workweek.
I wonder, though, is it normal to be looking for more hours in the day to be busy, to get things done, to work, to study? Or is it something which, on other continents, they’ll be saying: “It’s just an American thing.”