03.23.2004 - 11:39 a.m.
Typically I sleep the night through like a log (if "log" means "gin-soaked coma victim"), but the last few days I've been jolting wide awake in the wee hours of the morning. Just, snzzzz...bip! Hello, 3:45 AM.
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I attribute this irritating new personal hobby to a missing back. One of JB's many useful attributes is his ability to provide a warm back to curl against when I find myself swimming back to consciousness during the night. A warm back to me is like a glass of warm milk. Or a fistful of Ambien with a vodka chaser. You know, comforting.
I suppose my sleep schedule might also be out of whack because in an effort to stave off bedtime loneliness I have allowed both Cat AND Dog to pile up on the covers with me in the evening and thus am treated to a bevy of snores, furious ass-chompings, loud sighs, and endless slurp...slurp...slurps throughout the night.
Here is some advice: when you wake up at 3:45 AM, the first thing you must do is NOT think of zombies. "Do not think of zombies," you will tell yourself. "ANYTHING but zombies." And then, of course, you will picture with perfect, razor-sharp, HDTV-clarity, the little girl from the beginning of Dawn of the Dead.
(If you have stupidly allowed yourself to think of zombies, I am telling you is that it is a bad, bad, bad idea to try to mentally make the zombies less scary by, for instance, dressing them in clown outfits. Because holy fucking shit, zombie clowns?)
It is inevitable that at some point I have the internal Pee Wrestle. I realize that I kind of have to pee, but I know the act of staggering out of bed and facing the harsh bathroom light will destroy my last chance at being able to seamlessly fall back asleep. If I get up and pee, I am in for the long haul. As I try to decide that I don't really have to go that bad, the fact that I have allowed myself to think about my bladder at ALL means now I can't really think about anything else, not even zombies, and damn that glass of water anyway, hydration is overrated.
Settling back into bed amidst the kerfuffle of pet hair, I'm bone-tired, but not sleepy. Time for the early morning edition of the long dark teatime of the soul.
Here's where you have to be careful, because in the dark of your room where it's just you and your stupid brain that won't turn OFF, any and every subject that floats through your mind can be warped, sullied, and shat upon. Stay away from subjects like your finances, your career, and your accomplishments in life, because Here There Be Tygers. Also, forcing yourself to visualize relaxing scenarios does not typically help.
I'm an astronaut, floating in space. Feel the vastness, the quiet, the blue earth glowing.
Oh no, oh no, oh my god, the tether broke! It broke it broke you're gonna die out in space just bobbing along into infinity you dumb asshole! Ahhhhhh!
The beach is warm, the sun feels so good on my skin, the sound of the surf fills my ears...
Is that...a shark? With legs?
I'm flying...soaring above the clouds...my wings lift me ever higher...higher....
The wax! Is Dripping!
And so on.
It's far too easy to become melodramatic when the rest of the world is asleep. "I'm in the eighth circle of hell," you may whine silently. "And is that a whisker in my mouth? Pleh."
This is where Pet Therapy comes in very, very handy. Reaching out blindly and petting the small curled one, who utters an annoyed "mrrt", and running your fingers through the fur of the large curled one, who makes a "mmmffffffft" noise (which you fervently hope came from the snout end), you can relax, bit by bit, existing in a thoughtless state until finally, finally, at 7:58 AM, you fall into a restorative, dreamless, peaceful slumber.
Too bad the alarm is set to go off at 8.