Insomnia, Part Ninety Bajillion Thousand and Four

Substitute baby elephant videos for cat videos, and I have lived this exactly.  I’m watching it now, at 2:50 a.m., because of course I can’t sleep.  I was asleep. I woke up at 12:21 and now I can’t nod back off.

My hips hurt.  I’m not old enough to have arthritis like this. Well, apparently I am, since I have it. Oh yes, I have to remember to get more Tylenol. I should start a list. I don’t want to get up because that’ll wake me up more. I can remember Tylenol without writing it down.

Baby elephant videos! Now I want to go to Africa. I should have done that years ago, finished college then and joined the Peace Corps. I could have gone to Africa. Maybe I still can. No, the Peace Corps isn’t going to take an arthritic, insomniac 50-something and send her to a third-world country. Not without a gazillion waivers about the lack of modern medicine.  But Africa has elephants! Africa has shamans too. Maybe a shaman could help me sleep. Couldn’t hurt.

I could just go to Africa on my own. But that would cost a lot of money. I don’t have a lot of money.

Relax about money, willya?  Aren’t you always all right?  Your financial aid will be there right after the quarter starts.  Our Congress of baboons hasn’t shut down the government like they did last year. You already got your award letter. The money’s just waiting for you. Relax. Things always work out. But what if it doesn’t this time? It will.

It’s hilarious that a group of baboons is called a congress. My favorite is a murmuration of starlings. I would like to see a real-life murmuration of starlings. Do we have starlings up here in Seattle?

I miss meadowlarks.

I still want to get a bird feeder. I keep forgetting to get a bird feeder.

Aaarrggh, so tired! If I don’t get some sleep, I’m going to die.

I wonder what happens when I die?  I guess I’ll find out when it happens, and am I really so impatient to know this?  What if there really isn’t an afterlife? What if we humans cling to the notion of an afterlife simply because we’re so egotistical as to refuse to accept the possibility of our just not being? I’ll guess I’ll find out when it happens.  But what if it’s nothing? Then I won’t know.  I won’t exist to know.

Now I want to turn on all the lights and crawl under the bed, except I wouldn’t fit under there even if I were still skinny, which I’m not. And there are probably spiders.

Great.  I’m trying to sleep in a bed that has spiders lurking under it.

If I fall asleep now I can get 3 hours.

I bet I could go to sleep if I read a boring book.  I don’t have any boring books. I don’t keep boring books on principle.  Now I wish I hadn’t returned Anna Karenina to the library. Not to bash on you Anna, but your book was kind of a slog. I’m rereading Catcher in the Rye now but that won’t put me to sleep. I like Holden Caulfield. He’ll just keep me awake.

I’ve always wanted to be one of those people who can honestly say they’ve read War and Peace. Maybe I should get a copy for nights like this. Twofer: eventually get some sleep, and eventually be able to say I’ve read War and Peace.

I wish that tranquilizer would kick in. Sometimes they don’t. If I get back to sleep in the next 40 minutes I can get in one complete 90-minute sleep cycle and hopefully not wake up feeling like I’m hungover. That means I have to turn the computer off.

Pretend you’re on a train. You always feel rested when you sleep on a train, even if it’s just dozing, even if you nod off while sitting up, getting kinks in your neck. You’re so insulated, speeding through the world but not of it, because the world is flying by and you’re sitting snug in the blanket you always take, safe with the night on the other side of the window, out there, where it can’t touch you…

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Author: Deborah Lee

I like trees, dreaming, magic, books, paper, floating, dreaming, rhinos, rocks, stargazing, wine, dragonflies, trains, and silence to hear the world breathe.

2 thoughts on “Insomnia, Part Ninety Bajillion Thousand and Four”

  1. Love this Deborah! You completely captured the way my mind jumps around when I'm not sleeping but should be. 🙂 I'm sorry your hips were hurting and that you had insomnia. I don't have Insomnia. Instead, I have a condition I fondly refer to as TSTGTB (Too Stupid To Go To Bed Syndrome). I stay up way too late at night because there's always just “one more thing” I want to get done. If I'd just be smart enough to go to bed, I'd sleep and then I'd have more energy the next day to get all the “one more things” done. But I don't.

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  2. Unfortunately, I have chronic insomnia. I call it BTSTSS – Brain Too Stupid To Sleep Syndrome. lol I would be a night owl if I had my choice but I have to be up by 5 to leave the house on time. 😦

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