Thursday, July 20, 2017

Nights


It's tricky when you decide to stop taking sleeping medication. I've done it once before in my life, a few years ago, when I was in Israel. The first few nights are the weirdest. As the consistency of medicated slumber slowly exits the system, the dreams become more vivid and fresh, like grimy windows getting swiped clean by hot soapy water and Windex.

The dreams, they come, and then they go, and then you wake up, and then you fall asleep. It's practice, really. The brain flexing lazy muscles, working to keep your consciousness under the covers.

I've been so tired lately, half heartedly worried that I contracted Lyme disease but knowing it's probably just the heat. I wake up in the morning and sort of savour that feeling where I swear I was in another country or on another planet just moments ago. Inception is a favorite movie of mine. It so brilliantly captures the fact that we live lifetimes in our subconscious slumber.

When my deceased father visits me inside my dreams, I am pretty sure he is always wearing the same outfit. Docksiders, khaki Polo pants, and a yellow Nautica sweater. He has a slight attitude in my dreams, like nah nah na boo boo, I see you! I don't necessarily like it. He seems like he's...I don't know...moved on. I always want him to give me advice or stoke my hair over my ear, but instead he seems like a jokester, a happy vagabond. He seems like he's 23 and in a band. Not 73 and my dead dad. But it's good, I guess, that he never appears in a hospital gown. No ventilator, no pleading eyes. Instead he's smiling, laughing to himself about some cosmic joke I have yet to understand.

My bed is the bomb. Down comforters, knitted blanky-thingies, books, maybe a random fidget spinner. My bed, at times, resembles the beds of my toddler nephews, who sleep with toys, books, waterbottles, and lovies (lovies are blankies). I am comfy in my bed and it somtimes feels like a ship at sea. I'm sailing to Africa and there are starfish and quiet octopus animals swimming around in slowly spinning navy blue water. 

Nights are so familiar to me. 2am, 3am, 4am, 5am, here comes the newspaper, 6am, 7am, aaannnd, time for the next day. I used to stay up all night but I rarely do that now and I know that it is not healthy for me to indulge in it. But I still feel the guilt and shame associated with insomnia, and I welcome the quiet comrades out there who experience the same phenomenon of random sleepless nights.

The days are just beginning their march toward shorter spans, and this is something I truly celebrate. I do not like long days, because I do not like packing a million activities into summer fun and because I much, much prefer the dark. In the dark I can see the stars and there are certain ones whom I consider old friends. The puny stature of the Little Dipper, the solemn dignity of Orion's belt. I frequently go back to my dad's college astronomy book, and I read each page slowly, considering how much we knew even in the sixties about our enormous night sky.

Night is a friend. 
Daylight is an acquaintance. 
Storms are one-night hookups.

I see my iPhone lighting up with social media pinpricks of light. I see friends commenting on a previous post. I smile, knowing You are there, up with me, not sleeping. Say, how about this. I will get the materials for s'mores and stoke the fire pit. You go get in your jams and slip on the Ugg slippers. Let's look up and watch for satellites. We can sleep in tomorrow and I have three kinds of cereal for breakfast.

Dreams, dreams, dreams. Who is to say that they are not real? 
Snuggle up,
Susan









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