Sunday, August 26, 2012


It was before 9 when I woke up on Sunday, which sounded like a lazy morning until I realized it was almost dawn when I finally closed my eyes.

I no longer wish for more sleep. Slumber is not only not my friend, it has become the enemy, a span of time my brain uses to vomit the contents of its secret rooms onto splashy dreamscapes.

I've long gotten used to the dreams. They're entertaining, to say the least, and they afford me the opportunity to say hello to old friends who walk on faraway paths during the daylight.

But the exhaustion: there's the rub, dear heart. I don't know the exact location of The Edge, but it's somewhere close, and I must be careful not to stumble over its lip. It's a long way down and I don't feel like screaming right now. I really don't have the time or the energy.

There's too much just ahead to fall prey to something as pathetic as exhaustion. I say "pathetic" because my First World whines are nothing compared to, you know, the things that threaten people in darker places. I'm trying to suss out the deeper meanings of Passion Pit's Gossamer while better souls than I are wondering how they're going to survive the night. Shameful and selfish me.

But I know a continued lack of sleep is treacherous. I'm a young 51, but the machinery is starting to show its age. Three-four hours of sleep each night and the next day has its share of blurry moments, especially when I have to sit still. So like a shark I keep moving, keep jittering. Grow still and I may stay that way.

(Besides, there is always something requiring my attention during the waking hours. The presidential election draws near. Holidays are not far away. Several close friends and family members have birthdays coming up in the next four months. Busy busy busy, and that doesn't even take into account the writing projects I have to complete, or that whole work thing.)

I can use the extra time not spent sleeping, but without it I'm operating at three-quarter capacity. That's still better than most efforts from mere mortals, but there is a cost associated with burning this much fuel, and the bill is coming due.

A wise and dull man would ease off the accelerator and coast to a rest stop. Being neither wise nor dull, I'm punching the gas pedal and seeing how much power is left in this engine.

Sleep can wait. So can the dreams. And just between us girls, reality is starting to feel like one big and weird dream, a sprawling saga with a small cast, an independent feel and a most-excellent soundtrack. So far the dreams still trump reality in terms of sheer madness, but methinks that's soon going to change. I can feel it. Even more telling, I saw it last night in a dream. The line between reality and fantasy is getting blurrier.

When I woke up this morning my hair once again looked like a snake's nest. I glanced in the mirror and sighed: no wonder people think I'm hideous. Passion Pit played between my ears, singing the prayer I make nightly to the universe:

Hideaway, hideaway
Where they'll never say you cannot stay
Come and play oh, my hideaway
Someday everything will be okay.

1 comment:

Anne Stepp said...

The mad scientist becomes you.