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Thursday, July 5, 2012

My Bed, My Enemy

Mom tells a story from my childhood when my cat jumped on a hamster cage in the middle of the night. The cage fell over, the hamster escaped briefly, the cat protested the loss of a snack and I slept through the whole thing, even though it happened in my room.

Those days are long gone.

I may be legally blind, and what I smell is more often in my brain than in the air, but my ears work just fine. Unless I'm absolutely exhausted or drugged on Benedryl, I hear everything both inside and outside my house.

I hear the cats moving around in the basement. I hear the dog sigh in her sleep. I hear the wind in the trees, and I hear the train crossing the tracks in the wee hours of the morning. You'd think I'd be used to the train by now. I'm not.

I know how to "go to bed." For the most part, I turn off everything "stimulating" one hour before I lie down. No TV. No books. No radio. No intense activity, although I do a little tidying so I won't stay awake worrying about what needs to be done in the morning.

My eyes burn. My eyelids are heavy. My mind seems calm (although how can one truly tell with a mind?).

I lie down, I turn off the light, and everything wakes up. It's like those old baby dolls with the weighted eyes only in reverse. I stand up; I'm tired. I lie down; I'm still tired, but sleep is impossible.

I know all the experts say to get up and do something, but I don't. I'm mentally prepared to toss and turn in a darkened room at 2 AM, but I can't handle the thought of sitting in a chair at the same time. I always have the chance I'll fall asleep lying down. That will never happen in one of my chairs.

I suspect part of it is the heat. Can't really sleep when I'm either throwing off covers for being too hot or flailing around for covers when the air kicks on. That's an every 90 minute cycle.

I suspect part of it is July 4th. I never sleep well with either the threat of fire or the intermittent noise. My neighbors don't just set their death-makers off at once. Oh, no. Near as I can tell, they space them out every 15 to 30 minutes just to guarantee I'm awake. Last night, I'm pretty sure they left to buy more around midnight so the fun could continue until I had no chance whatsoever for a decent night.

Hey, at least the house is still here, right?

I'm most excited about going to work on a Thursday, which is generally a hard day anyway, that will now double as a second Monday after a holiday. Good times await, I'm sure.

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