i fall asleep so easily it’s like i have an instant iv drip attached to my hand, it’s a relief for my aching bones and over-active mind. i snuggle into my favorite position, two pillows beneath my head; my brown hair pulled back in a ponytail with a thin black elastic band. i’m wearing only a soft, red, popeye cotton tee shirt. i dream about swimming and floats and old friends and the artist known as prince and friendly unknown neighbors wearing j.crew sweater sets. in my dreams my son is three again, i don’t need freud to figure that one out. he’s college bound and i am feeling nostalgic, oprah is leaving me too.
i wake up automatically at 4am and at the same time every night for the last few weeks. i desperately want to go back to sleep and i try but it’s of no use. i play every game, try every trick and nothing works. i give up and drag my computer to the tiny extra bedroom/office to see if there is someone awake on the other end of the screen. usually no one is. i know it takes time for me to fall asleep, usually between two and two and a half hours and there is not much i can do about it. i have been through this pattern before, i just want it to stop.
i’m so tired but my head and body are still awake and they won’t give up the fight no matter how hard i try. i try not to try and that doesn’t work either. i notice things in the room that i haven’t noticed before, forgotten dusty books, a paperweight with dainty blue flowers. my dog has followed me in the room, she is so used to coming downstairs with me at around ten for a snack that she is confused. i sit cross-legged on the bed, surrounded by clean laundry, my eyes wandering to my angel statue, my daughter’s first ballerina shoe that i framed, boxes of writing since high school, a mini twa jet i keep in honor of my father. my whole life is in this room and around it.
i want to be back lying in bed beneath my royal blue quilt, and a an old comforter in a cherry covered duvet. i love any pattern of cherries, they make me happy. i want to sleep but i know i can’t, my head is like a ticking clock. my teeth and jaw ache, it’s probably tmj, i think clinically. i remember i never called my friend back yesterday and i don’t like being rude but it will have to wait until tomorrow. sorry, but of all people i know she will understand. she suffers from fibromyalgia and chronic pain issues too. apparently sleep problems are common among us in the tribe.
finally at around 6:30 i start yawning and crawl back in bed keeping my eyes averted from the clock on my bedside table. i have stayed up long enough that i think it will be ok, my eyes close, again. all the colors become white, the fresh air coming from the window is softly soothing. i beg the birds not to come out and sing for just a little while.