- Put myself to bed at 11:30 with a new book–“San Miguel” by T. C. Boyle. It’s OK, but the first 50 pages are mostly howling winds, the incessant bleating of 4000 sheep, a woman with a consumptive cough, and a pretty heavy sense of foreboding. I put it down and turned off the light at 12:15, giggling to myself that it was really early thanks to the time change and I didn’t have to set an alarm because it’s spring break.
- Woke up at 12:30. Bright moon shining in the window, too hot in my room. So I did a load of laundry, changed the sheets, sorted a few more piles of stuff. Still wasn’t feeling tired but didn’t want to go back to the sheep bleating. A different book–that’s it! I downloaded the third in Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series–“Voyager.” Just the ticket. Read from 1:20-1:45. Turned off the light and tried to think about the wilds of Scotland. Nope. Tried to make a list from A-Z of places I’d like to visit. Nope.
- Back up at 2:00. Switch the laundry. Step out on the deck to enjoy the cool air and Jinx the cat mewls her way up the steps. I open the door for her before I realize why she sounds funny. Yep, she had a mouse in her mouth. Now there’s a mouse in the house. I shut the cats, the dog and the mouse in the den and wish them all well.
- I consider taking a Benadryl to get drowsy, but G had mentioned at dinner that taking Benadryl on a regular basis as a sleep aid causes cognitive impairment. Yep, this is what we talk about at dinner. You would think I would be BORED enough to sleep. I only take one about once a week but I convince myself that this is a “habit.”
- 2:15, to hell with it. I get a Benadryl but drop it under the bed. Dig it out and swallow it anyway–first sign of cognitive impairment would be that I eat anything that has touched this floor.
- 2:20…speaking of floor, I go back to the kitchen and clean up that mess that Carlos made when he painted the floor with a couple of blackberries. I begin to think that I might be one of those women who could really get it ALL DONE if I quit sleeping. Martha Stewart only sleeps 3-4 hours a night and it seems to be working pretty well for her. Except for that prison stint, but she used that time to knit.
- 2:30. The dog is lying in the middle of the floor with his nose pointed under the love seat, so I assume that’s where the mouse is hiding out. I open the door to the deck and consider getting the broom to chase the mouse outside, but G is zonked out on the couch where he fell asleep three hours earlier watching Law & Order. The sound of me opening the door rouses him enough that he opens his eyes and looks right at me. I shrug and say, “Can’t sleep.” He grunts, “G’night” and rolls over. It’s good to feel understood.
- I like when the numbers on the clock line up, so I’m going to call 2:34 lucky. Got the ceiling fan on, the window cracked, the blinds shut, the cats on mouse duty, lavender lotion on my feet, a Breathe Right strip on my nose, Benadryl working its way into my brain pan. Surely this will work..right?
- Oh, for pity’s sake…now I’m hungry.
It’s 2:22 a.m. on Thursday morning. I fell asleep at 9 p.m. and woke at midnight. Since then, I’ve been reading “The Golem and the Jinni” and trying to fall back to sleep. But there’s too much weirdness in the air–our routines are off because of the ice storm. I think my brain has tried to do so much prepping and planning for a crisis that hasn’t happened that I can’t turn it off now. So let’s roll with it.
If I’m up at 2:22 a.m., might as well see that phase of the day that I usually miss. I tried to get Huck to go out in the front yard with me, but he knows he’s not supposed to be out there without a leash. I stood in the shelter of the garage while he waited nervously by the kitchen door. The city is a pink glow behind the pines at this hour.
We went to the deck and he hurtled down the stairs and into the bright night. It’s strange to hear the crunch of his steps. I’ll try to remember that. Smoke drifts from my new neighbor’s chimney. I haven’t been over to say hello yet, but I enjoy the smell of his wood fires. Oops–there’s Vivi’s jacket that I hung out here to dry the other day–frozen solid. I prop it against the wall for her to see in the morning. The bird feeders need filling again. I wonder where all those birds sleep.
It’s so quiet that I can hear the river. It truly does whisper.
One snowflake drifts down onto my cheek and I’m sure it’s a hello.
Huck is watching me from his crate, a white dog on a white cushion in a white world. Nose as black as a polar bear’s and a pair of sleepy eyes. But he’ll stay up with me if I need him.
But maybe it’s time to sleep. Maybe some writing was what I needed to turn off my brain. To find rest.
Good night. Good morning. Good day.