Acquainted with the night
I get upset when it’s 11 p.m. and I’m still awake and then I close my eyes again and try to sleep but conversations from the night before keep invading my peace of mind. I think about them and about the people I saw and the things I did and then I think about planting grass seed and how that dirt patch in the yard really needs some attention. It’s midnight now.
Frustrated, I turn over, re-fluff my pillows and push the dog out of my way. Maybe if I adjust my neck differently or switch from my right side to my left, maybe that will lull my body into sleep. I turn to my other side, curl my legs into a sideways ball and close my eyes again. But instead of drifting to dreamland I realize my face is dry and I’m thirsty. I get out of bed and apply moisturizer and then drink orange juice from the carton and flip on a few extra lights because maybe if the whole house is lighter, I won’t be as afraid of sleeping. I get back into bed, push the dog out of the way again and turn the fan on, pointing it right at my face because it’s hot and I’m uncomfortable and maybe I just won’t sleep under the covers tonight after all. It’s 1:30 a.m.
I’m really tired now. Exhausted. But I can’t stop thinking, worrying, going over my list of things to do, reviewing conversations and glances and thoughts and motives and making sure mine are pure always and then, I remember that I’m not supposed to be worrying anyway. It’s 2 a.m. now, and it’s dark in my house and my dog is snoring louder than my husband who has been asleep since 10:35 p.m. I’m jealous. How can he sleep when I’m so awake? Why doesn’t his mind race like mine, keeping him up until only a few hours before dawn. And why does my dog have such an easy life. Sleeping and eating and playing and do dogs have worries or anxieties or anything really? What do they dream about anyway? It’s 2:30 a.m. now and I’ve had enough.
I get out of bed and pace the house. I check the doors, making sure each lock is secure. I turn on the weather channel, check my email and yawn. I’m sleepy. Really sleepy and I’m ready to try again. I take a look in the mirror and hope the bags under my eyes will be gone by morning. I contemplate calling in sick to work, sleeping until noon and then cleaning all day or running or planting grass seed. But, I know I won’t do that. I’ll wake up when the alarm goes off, get in the shower, get ready and get a huge cup of coffee on my way to work. I will sit in my cube all day and pretend to be awake and alert when really, I’m tired and all I want to do is to go home and crawl under the covers with the fan blowing on my face. The last time I check the clock, it’s 3:30 a.m. Three hours later, I’m jolted out of the most wonderful dream by the alarm clock buzzer. I get up, let the dog out and take a shower and I’m off, to fool the world that this girl is rested and ready to tackle anything.