Insomnia

Sheep

Some people say, I’ll sleep when I’m dead. But you aren’t going to do much dreaming when you’re dead. No, it’s not at all the same.

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m fed up with constantly losing my luggage, my pants, my shoes. Or having the horrible realization I’m on a train that’s gone past my station, and border guards are demanding papers that I don’t have. Ah, but those other dreams! You know what I’m talking about—those dreams of pleasure. Life would be a poorer place without those.

Without enough sleep I’m a wreck. I can barely remember who I am. Thank goodness for my driver’s license. And, I look ghastly too. Puffy, some would say. Sophia Loren said it was her beauty sleep that kept her gorgeous. If sleep made her look like that, then I am all for it.

Early to bed, early to rise is the kind of advice that sits well with me. Will it make me healthy, wealthy, and wise? I can only hope so.

You may live in some tranquil place, perhaps in cabin by the ocean, or a cottage next to a babbling brook or waterfall. You probably drift off, undisturbed, to the land of dreams and wake full of vigor.

But that’s not how it is for me. I live in the city. It’s summer.
Here’s how it was last night:

9:30 p.m. Go to bed with missus. She’s anxious to get to sleep.

9:40 p.m. Lights out.

9: 46 p.m. Missus asleep. It’s hot. Get out of bed. Open window.

9:50 p.m. Take off bed cover. Missus wakes up questions actions.

10:03 p.m. Take off remaining blanket. Missus mutters.

10:07 p.m. Missus leaves to sleep in living room due to excessive activity.

10: 21 p.m. Still too hot. New fan more powerful than expected. Blows picture off wall. Misses wakes up in living room.

10: 33 p.m. Back in bed after sweeping up broken glass. (Note to self: peace offering — flowers tomorrow.) Waves, fog. Riding on giant goose honking along seashore.

10: 42 p.m. Trains honk outside (Why do they do that at night?). Too hot with fan on low setting. African sun beating down. Trudging through long grass. Surrounded by mocking hyenas. They want to know where my shoes are.

11:20 p.m. Fog horned-voiced neighbors having yet another late-night in back yard, despite previous polite request to be quiet. (Don’t they have work to do tomorrow?) Shut window. Find earplugs. Boiling cauldrons witches on windy heath cackle. Thunderbolt, lightning, earthquake.

12:02 a.m. Ear plugs uncomfortable. Opera singer neighbor home. Slams door. Does usual elephant impressions in closet adjoining bedroom. Get up. Creep into kitchen for glass of cold water. Success on not waking missus. Deep calming breathing exercises.

12:45 a.m. Open window. Loud backyard neighbors driven inside by insistent barking dog. (Good dog.) Night street after rain. Searching. Open door. Knocked over by noxious stench.

1:15 a.m. Downstairs smoke-a-holic opened window. Room fills with rancid cigarette smoke. Shut window. Turn up fan. Flying across green fields. Land by large house. Beautiful garden. Escorted by kimono-clad young women into library. One stands by gigantic marble fireplace with delicate fan. Others seated, play strange high-pitched music.

3:12 a.m. Mosquito in room. Slap own face several times. Get flashlight to hunt down mosquito. Don’t want light on or will be fully awake. No luck. Tiptoe to bathroom. Put toothpaste on mosquito bites. Breathing exercises on bed. Open window. Bad smell. Close window. Change pillow. Floating down green river. French-speaking fish swim alongside and want to know about hiking holidays. We all go to riverside pub. Barman pulls out loud trumpet and blows hard.

4:30 a.m. Jump up out of bed. Car alarm across street. Find new set of earplugs and put pillow either side of head. Marching. Trees with large boots march along empty road and turn into gated field. All fall over like dominoes.

5:17 a.m. Paper delivery with slap on ground. Abandon hope of more sleep.
Make tea without waking missus.