March 16, 2005 - 6:57 am Comments Off on Insomnia

I am not awake. I am not asleep, either. I am in some weird waiting room for sleep central. I am a flat rock which skips across the surface of Lethe, leaving jagged little ripples in my wake every time I bounce. I can’t bounce high enough to hop out of the river, nor can I lose enough height to sink into the depths. Instead I drift along, tubing down my consciousness like I used to tube down the Guadalupe those years ago, where the water was 68 degrees year round and in the hottest part of the summer it was like floating in a refrigerator.

Finally I crack one eye open. It is a trigger, an on/off button which allows me to take action and step away from the paralyzed and non-sleeping state I’ve been trapped in for the last hour. I come downstairs and listen to the birds start to chirp, quietly at first so as not to wake all the other birds who have been sleeping since dusk last night. Other bird choruses join in and they crescendo into a symphony of avian gossip.

Human life starts to wake up. Planes start flying overhead. The newspaper boy drives by slowly, thwapping houses along the street with today’s missive. The school bus rumbles past. Where it was dark outside the last time I blinked, now it is drearily lit. It’s always cold at this hour, even when it is not. I wear a blanket over my feet and type and wish I could sleep. Sleep. Sleep, perchance to dream.

To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there’s the rub;
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause…

O sleep! O gentle sleep!
Nature’s soft nurse, how have I frighted thee,
That thou no more wilt weigh my eyelids down
And steep my senses in forgetfulness?
Why rather, sleep, liest thou in smoky cribs,
Upon uneasy pallets stretching thee,
And hush’d with buzzing night-flies to thy slumber,
Than in the perfum’d chambers of the great,
Under the canopies of costly state,
And lull’d with sound of sweetest melody?
"2 Henry IV" (3.1.7-16)

Bill knew his insomnia.

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