Family lore recounts some of my earliest nights awake in my crib, putting the finishing touches on my own rendition of the ABC song, "Now I know my ABCs; can't you see I'm not sleepy?" For as long as I can remember, I've spent nights simply awake, awake, awake, my mind nattering away with the minutiae of inner monologue amplified. Apparently, tonight will not be the landmark night to dismiss 27 years of precedent.
11:00 p.m. After a long day at work and a cozy evening with my girlfriend, curled into bed relatively early in hopes of rejuvenating night's sleep for another busy workday tomorrow.
11:11 p.m. Hip and back are throbbing faster than my pulse; have nothing in the house stronger than Advil and long since surpassed the safe dosage. Engage in deep breathing and think about serene pastoral visions.
11:41 p.m. Object comes to bed. Deflects my advances for latenight idle chitchat ("soooooooo, what do your parents think about the rate of childhood morbidity in Sub-Saharan Africa?") and falls promptly asleep. Smiling. Bastard.
12:13 a.m. Fuck deep breathing.
12:17 a.m. Fuck peaceful pastoral scene. Have counting sheep kill Bessie instead.
12:23 a.m. Vow to demand payment in codeine as part of direct-deposit plan at work.
12:29 a.m. In what may be a record for Columbia Road, have gone 14 minutes without hearing a single siren.
12:36 a.m. Wonder what my first boyfriend is doing at this very moment? Did he ever become an architect? How many 15 year-old boys want to become architects? Has anyone ever done a study on that? What would go into conducting such a study? Vow to think about this in the morning, shift bed position for maximum sleeping benefit.
12:37 a.m. Blink open eyes. Still waiting for maximum sleeping benefit.
12:38 a.m. Blink, blink.
12:39 a.m. Blink. Shift again, in case was wrong about prior optimal sleeping position.
12:41 a.m. Blink.
12:46 a.m. If I had gotten the alarm clock with the green numbers that the Object insisted seemed "friendlier," would I be sleeping right now?
12:49 p.m. Goddamit, officially awake for the night. Too late to take a sleeping pill. Trapped! Is this how the one-armed hiker
felt when he got trapped in that canyon? Or when Tom Brokaw interviewed him?
12:56 a.m. Drunk peoples of Adams Morgan, where are you to entertain me? You keep me up every other night, where the hell are you now that I need someone to entertain me? Did a Bush twin flash her boobs over at Georgetown or something?
1:04 a.m. Wonder if I can be the one-armed hiker again for Halloween? That was a great costume.
1:11 a.m. Poke kitty with tow in an effort to convince him he can't sleep either.
1:12 a.m. Swat kitty for biting my toe and returning unsympathetically to sleep.
1:14 a.m. Fake coughing fit in an effort to convince the Object he can't sleep either.
1:15 a.m. Wonder what the hell the point of moving in with someone is if you can't get a little conscious company in the middle of the night. I could have just gotten another cat.
1:16 a.m. Vow to get kitten an show them all.
1:17 a.m. Vow to get puppy instead.
1:26 a.m. Give up on bed, wander into living room. Newsweek
1:48 a.m. What I have learned so far: most powerful women in history are Cleopatra, Elizabeth I, Catherine the Great, and Rachel Ray.
1:53 a.m. Am wondering if Peter Gabriel actually meant for Washing of the Waters
to speak literally about pain: "River, oh river, river running deep/Bring me something that will help me get to sleep. In the washing of the waters, will you take it all away?/ Bring me something to take this pain away" Seems like he knows chronic pain.
1:59 a.m. Finally give up on Newsweek
when I read a review excoriating a new t.v. show about a Pakistani exchange student for being insensitive. According to said article, one can grow out of the stigma of being a geek, but you can never live down growing up Pakistani.
2:01 a.m. Maybe my books need to be reclassified?
2:04 a.m. Halfway through the b's of the environmental philosophy section (third bookshelf, second shelf from the top) realize already re-re-reclassified the books last time I couldn't sleep.
2:08 a.m. Kitty wanders into the room stretches magnificently, and falls promptly back asleep. Show off.
2:13 a.m. Wonder if my eyebrows are properly tweezed?
2:14 a.m. Yes. They are.
2:15 a.m. No new eyebrow growth.
2:16 a.m. Wonder if I could tweeze my armpit hair?
2:17 a.m. No. I cannot. Cease and desist all tweezing activity. Wipe tear from eye.
2:19 a.m. Wander into kitchen. Ponder mysteries of the foodiverse. How in the hell have we come to be in possession of what appears to be 36 and one half Boca Burgers, plus one fake chik'n patty? Why does muesli always taste stale, even from a freshly opened bag? Is this why the Swiss are so stodgy? How many dry pinto beans can I balance on my nose?
2:29 a.m. Only 31 more minutes until four hours have passed since last Kirkland brand non-candy coated ibuprofen dosing.
2:30 a.m. Throwing caution to the wind, I see how many Kirkland brand non-candy coated ibuprofenI can toss in the air and catch in my mouth.
2:31 a.m. Celebrate new all-time record of 7. Wonder if am eligible for the Guinness book of world records? Vow to reward myself by buying actual Advil brand with candy coating next time.
2:33 a.m. Maybe I will start writing the great American novel. Right... now.
2:37 a.m. Riiiiiiight now.
2:43 a.m. Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight now.
2:44 a.m. Eh, it'd probably be lost on the philistines anyways.
2:53 a.m. Wonder if anyone would get mad if I got out the blender and made a batch of homemade pesto right now?
2:55: Which would be a worse death: fatal familial insomnia, or being slowly nibbled to death by carnivorous minnows?
2:57 a.m. Reaffirm life choice never to have children or pet fish. Just in case.
3:01 a.m. Vow to give sleep the old college try.
3:03 a.m. First, look up origins of phrase "the old college try".
3:09 a.m. The Bears beat the Packers. Heh, Bret Fav-ray, that'll teach you to mess around with Mike Ditka.
3:10 a.m. Why do I care about the Bears beating the Packers? I don't even know what a touchdown is.
3:12 a.m. Worry that I have brought bad karma onto the city of Chicago. Worry about future of the Windy City.
3:14 a.m. Have successfully convinced myself that in 2008 the Cubs will lose, Barack Obama will be assasinated in the same spot that Bobby Kennedy was shot, and Oprah will keel over in 2008 LaSalle National Bank Marathon.
3:19 a.m. Try not to think about huge knot of throbbing muscle pain in right hip.
3:21 a.m. Insult to injury: still thinking about huge throbbing knot in hip, but inexplicably, the "meow mix" jingle is running through head.
3:28 a.m. Try to massage knot in hip into relaxing. Object wakes up and wonders what my hand is doing down my pajama pants. Sure, now he's awake.
3:29 a.m. Not anymore.
3:30 a.m. Mosey back into living room to test theory that there is always an episode of Law & Order on.
3:36 a.m. Realize that Mariska Hargitay has been a constant fixture of my life for longer than any friendship I now maintain, unless you count reading Renee Kenny's blog as maintaining friendship.
3:39 a.m. Bask slackjawed in the flickering glow of the t.v. Only three more hours until time to hit the snooze button the first time and take another handful of Kirkland brand non-candy coated ibuprofen.
4:01 a.m. Climb into bed, vowing sleep.
4:04 a.m. The Object stirs. "I love you sooooo much!" he mumbles drowsily, throwing an arm over me, trapping me. "I wish your love made me sleepier," I counter.
4:05 a.m. Take advantage of my golden opportunity for late night company, "Let's put the bed on the ground. Maybe then it won't sag!" "OK."
4:06 a.m. The Object snuffles. "Wait, where would we put the stuff under the bed?"
4:07 a.m. "In the radiator box."
4:08 a.m. Object jerks in a myoclonic fashion. I'm losing him. I panic. "What do you think of global warming?"
4:09 a.m. Snore.
4:10 a.m. "Are you excited for the dolphins ruling the globe?"
4:11 a.m. "Trains? Rapid transit? Trains of great speed?" I'm reaching.
4:12 a.m. Snore. Alone again. Not sleepy.