When all is dark and silent I mean to say When the world is asleep I creak up stairs to peek out the window and view this which others are unaware The boats moored in a campsite of refuge Water Like glass enabling their peace The calm of night deep night not too far from sunrise All that is heard is the tweet of a distant bird Lights illuminate entryways but those beyond doorways slumber ignorant of my wandering I wonder what dreams flourish in those sleeping minds as my breathing falls muted and my eyes unable to close tight to stargaze against my tattered pillow.
Tag Archives: Insomnia
If some of the other parents saw us right now they’d be appalled. Or perhaps just perplexed. Or maybe even wishing they could do the same but their schedules or weird-ass beliefs won’t allow them to do so. It’s 8:30 pm on a school night. My kid is not in bed. He’s outside in the dark riding his new bike in the rare Florida chill. His dad is home from another week-long stint in another state for work. They are outside together; I’m cleaning the kitchen with the calmness and solidarity that a man experiences in his man-cave or garage tinkering with motors or wood.
I find great pleasure in washing dishes and wiping the counter. I have my Pandora stations on shuffle. It’s my kitchen dance party. I know the dishwasher will be loaded per my exceedingly high expectations, meaning I can fit nearly every dish and utensil in there without having to hand wash much except the big salad bowl, special cutting knife, and roasting pan. I’m working/dancing off the calories consumed by finishing not only my plate but also my kid’s. I know this is not a good habit. But I hate seeing healthy home-cooked food go to waste. He’ll be hungry again in twenty minutes.
Sometimes when he rails against going to bed it reminds me of when he was just a year old. We have video of him playing with an empty water bottle and laughing at his older cousin as she fake sneezes in this high-pitched “Eh Cheeeewww”. I pan to the clock and it reads 1:00 am. The baby is wide awake and laughing as his fat cheeks dimple and his eyes widen with maniacal late-night wonder.
That video will forever be etched in my memory. When I hear other parents talk about how their kid goes down strictly at 8:30 I don’t offer much. I figure if they knew I let my kid stay up til sometimes 10:00 on a school night they would roll their eyes or widen them and give me the “Oh we don’t do that at our house” judgement crap.
My brother and I had a strict bedtime of 9:00. I can still hear my parents yelling from downstairs, “Ya’ll need to quiet down and go to sleep!” We were always whisper-chatting or playing with stuffed animals way past the nine o’clock hour. Even though we had our own rooms we slept in the same bed til I was thirteen. I was afraid of the dark. Utterly convinced there was something under the bed that would reach out and grab my feet if they were too close to the edge. And lightning? Utterly convinced it would crash through my window and strangle me with its electric arms.
My brother wasn’t scared. He just humored me. Until I kicked him out when it was too weird for us to be under the same quilt.
My kid doesn’t have a sibling to share in late-night laugh-fests. So we let him stay up and watch SNL skits or old episodes of The Twilight Zone. Interestingly he never has nightmares.
Maybe it’s bad parenting to let him stay up so late. But then again everyone has their own child-rearing style. I like that we’re flexible. You gotta grab these moments and drink them in, inhale them. One day soon that laughing baby, this night owl boy, will be up all night with his buds. And I’ll be biting the skin off my fingers hoping to God he’s okay. I think I’ll go ahead and order my Chardonnay drip right now.
Last night I had one of my usual half-awake-half-dreaming 3am bouts. These usually occur in the middle of a good dream. When I’m about to sink my teeth into a blueberry cake donut or when I’m about to have my body willingly held captive by a dark, handsome stranger. Forget about the times when I’m being chased by an evil, angry a-hole with a gun, a hungry alligator, a tidal wave, or since childhood a raging tornado or hissing snakes. Those dreams are allowed by the R.E.M. to conclude at will. Although lately I’ve prevailed against such stalkers. In one I actually grabbed the snake by its neck and threw it over a cliff. In another I challenged the gun-slinger by getting into my defensive stance, looking him in the eye, and saying, “Don’t mess with me. I’m a GREEN belt, mother f*cker!”
Since I’ve been spending more and more time on my writing, I’ve been waking up at this ungodly yet peaceful hour with various ideas. Some for short stories, others about what my next line or scene will be in the novel I’m unhurriedly creating, and of course several for future blog posts. Last night I woke up from a dream I now can’t remember and had an idea for a daily prompt.
You know those cheesy infomercials you’d catch at, well, 3am, like the Ginsu knife, Sham Wow, or the Snuggie (I have one don’t judge me)? Well what if you wrote an infomercial but instead of the Ab Roller the product was yourself? How would you market yourself? What would you say? What are the qualities you could offer that maybe someone of less sharpness, absorption, or snuggly-ness couldn’t?
Here’s what I thought of at 3am, or something close to it (the darkness makes things seem so much more awesome). Cue non-accented male voice-over and bleak, black and white shots:
Are you tired of a bitchy friend or a nagging wife? Wish you had a nicer neighbor? What about those mean restaurant patrons or that guy who never picks up after his dog? And those people who go on and on about their ailments, politics, or crappy job. Well have we got a refresher for you! (Cue up-beat voice-over and crisp, colorful images):
Introducing Jenifer, the diplomatic Libran who is sure to bring positive vibes to any occasion! She’ll be your listening ear. She’ll laugh at your mediocre jokes. She won’t hassle and will water your plants when you’re out of town. She’ll be your partner on the loneliest of dance floors; she’ll sing decent karaoke and clap for you even if yours is not so decent.
But wait, there’s more!
Even with the crappiest of waiters she won’t make a scene. And she doesn’t leave for a dog walk without at least 3 poop bags! Her only complaint may be that she is tired but she will most certainly follow that with a “but I’ll just get a quick reboot later and be OK.” You’ll never hear her start a conversation involving politics and if you start one she will most likely change the subject. She loves her writing career/job/hobby and will gladly proofread you or your children’s letters and essays.
So don’t wait! Act now and receive Jenifer for the low, low price of inspiration and human companionship. A handful of dark chocolates and a nice bottle of Chardonnay won’t hurt, either. Order today!
(Cue really super fast kind of whispered voice-over with speedy, rolling text):
Discrepancies include and are not limited to: Little to no availability for phone conversations, sometimes doesn’t leave the house for days, occasionally wears pajamas til the early evening, at times just wants to be left alone, sometimes needs constant validation for her writing, may only snuggle for up to 5 minutes, avoids heavily crowded areas unless 1.5 to 3 glasses of white wine are consumed, requires monthly pedicures, daily intake of dark chocolate, eight hours of sleep with white noise, one hour of rigorous exercise, and reserves the right to be in a non-positive frame of mind one week prior to “that time of month”.
Note: Wow, the The Daily Post at WordPress.com used my idea above (with a bit of a twist) for one of their Daily Prompts: As Seen on TV!