Two other things I’d forgotten about:
It starts to get dark here at 3 o’clock in the afternoon and is pitch black by 5. Last night, in the middle of a pretty heavy yawning session, I glanced at the clock and it said 7:45. I could have sworn it was well past midnight based on how dark and quiet it was outside and how ridiculously tired I was inside. I had absolutely no energy to fight the nap that overwhelmed me while I waited for Dennis to take a shower, and woke up a half an hour later no less tired, and absolutely unprepared to go out and be social. But we did and I spent the next three hours yawning so fiercely at a party that I nearly threw my jaw out. After one small glass of wine, my first in months actually since wine is the last thing I want to drink during Brazilian summer, I was so sleepy I couldn’t even hold conversation and was reduced to hanging around Dennis and leaning my head against him while he fought the sleep I knew he, too, must have been feeling. He’s much more capable of being socially appropriate than I am when he’s at a party; when the urge to leave a place swells up in me, even after twenty minutes, I go. He stays around and manages to talk to people and make a good impression on others. I am not that couth and I know I come off as completely tactless and a bit cold. But listen. When I can no longer speak because of the increased frequency of yawns, I really must leave. Last night, however, I had to stick around. And when it became painfully clear to Dennis that I would certainly kill him if we did not leave now, we said our goodbyes. Within minutes of arriving home, we were both sound asleep and remained so until 10:30 in the morning.
Or kind of. Because this leads me to the second thing I’d forgotten about: cold toilet seats. Good Lord. There’s no kind of discomfort in the world quite like a cold toilet seat, especially one you sit on at 4:30 in the morning your first night home during winter in two years. If I’d been sleepy when I sat down, I certainly was wide awake the moment my bare skin touched the frozen seat. Oh it was a fresh hell, it was. And so now I approach the toilet with a caution I never thought I’d have, kind of glancing at it sideways, measuring the temperature of the porcelain, and sitting on my hands for good measure.