The afternoon nap

Surely there is nothing that transcends the soporific indulgence and rapture of an afternoon nap. It is one of life’s tiny but incomparable pleasures, always astonishingly assured to leave the petitioner fully recovered and unwittingly strengthened. It is to my mind the most uplifting dither one can possibly accomplish with the least and most sparing effort required. It is aimless, natural, unprovoked and innately sublime. It hasn’t the brevity of a catnap nor the sixth-hour culture of a siesta. It is a midday luxury peculiarly distinct from and never to be confused with ordinary sleep.

And that’s the thing, it isn’t mere dormancy. It isn’t the imperative suspension of physical functions. It isn’t a biological necessity. Rather it comes across as an unmerited luxury. More often than not it is entirely unscheduled and unpredicted, seldom a submission which can be planned. And it is an undertaking far from being guaranteed even if intended by any measure or purpose at all.

Catching a glimpse of one who is napping is assured to disclose a thoroughly absent mind, one who appears to have been temporarily suspended in a moment of complete vacuity, released from the worries of the world, lost in the bliss and sunk in the abyss of emptiness, thoughtlessness and distant ambition. Indeed the afternoon nap at its zenith is most often unpremeditated which of course is the reason for a good deal of the fun. And once having recovered from the brief interlude – and it always is astonishingly condensed – amazingly one is able to carry on as though having only been frozen for a second in the exact posture previously imposed or adopted. The afternoon nap is an apostrophe of social behaviour, a grammatically correct courtesy. Seldom is any but the incline of the head disturbed in the least, while the complex adjuncts of the body remain immobile and torpid as though one were listening acutely to a gripping narrative or podcast.