Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Nature's Sweet Nurse


Hello insomniacs everywhere. Unite. You have nothing to lose. Not a damn thing. The sleepless, padding the halls at three thirty two a.m. already know that. You who are fast off in La La Land, take my word for it.

Nothing seems bleaker, more hopeless and empty than a three thirty two a.m. world. Not even Bayonne in February.

Insomnia used to wash over me like waves in an insane giant baby's bathtub. The one where Pibbles discovers water ripples if you smash your hand down in it hard and I am now the bleary eyed rubber ducky in this all night bath. Weeks of sleep in fits and starts would come and go and then end and I'd be back on a sleep schedule once again.

I'd devise clever ways to keep amused during the off hours. Usually it involved TV surfing. But you had to be careful not to wake your spouse. So you turn the thing on and hit the mute as fast as possible and hope like hell you didn't leave it on the History Channel (All Hitler, All The Time) and a P-51 is about to strafe the living room.

Then you inch the volume up bit by bit somewhere between "I can hear every third word and am learning to read lips" and "The fucking cat is up and wants attention and food".

Then you surf. Hope for one of those seventies movies that could put a severely caffeinated two year old to sleep. Here's one: Look, a girl, in a bathtub, coming out of the water, naked.

Well, all right!

Oh, wait a minute, she's spitting blood at a demon! Horror Film! Change the channel and quick!

Look, I have nightmares that keep me looking around corners in the daytime. I don't need video gasoline on my cranial fire.

Last night was just a case of the wakies. Sleep so shallow if it were a puddle an amoeba wouldn't be covered. Anything woke me up. Anything. The heating system belching an air bubble the way Uncle Murray used to pass gas on Thanksgiving. Sort of like a Jersey oil refinery meeting it's match. The house settling further into the sinkhole. Or the cat. Last week, I installed a wood floor in one of the studys. I made the mistake of forgetting an off cut in the hallway and the cat found a hall skittle that she batted up and down the empty corridor for the better part of an hour. I'd have taken it away but she's so fucking overweight she's starting to look like a pot bellied pig in a cat suit.

Last night she dredged out her litter box in the next room. I woke up expecting to find a hole so deep I could stick a three level underground parking garage in there.

Then there are the documentary reality shows you watch in the wee hours because you hope monster earth moving machines will knock you out. What they actually do is inspire the cat to dig further. Whatever, you watch as some behemoth breaks down and out come the cutting torches and the foreman is shouting orders and the pit boss is measuring time against money and wondering how he's going to make quota and hey, this is work. I'm just watching it but in two and a half hours I can live it.

Yep, the networks running slow so out come the keypunches in A/P and Frank the supervisor knows that he's got a quota of receivables to code and...

Enough to put you to fucking sleep. The only good part is the cat doesn't get any ideas other than dragging the utility bill into the litter box and covering her shit with it.

Good kitty. They'll send one just like it next month.

Bunny on.

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