I’ve wrestled with insomnia since I was very young. When I was 7 years old my Dad got me a child-sized wicker rocking chair and set it up outside my bedroom in the lighted hallway. There was a stack of books on the floor beside the chair and I would climb out of my bed, careful not to wake my little sister asleep in her bed across from mine and sit in my rocking chair reading until I got sleepy. I learned to read early and books have been my friends ever since.
Dad told me not to fight the insomnia because it would win. Instead, he said to read and give my mind something else to think about. To clear out the cobwebs that I didn’t really understand until I was much older consumed with webs of “what if, should have, replay moments, tomorrows”.
I remember reading a book about Africa and coming across the animal called wildebeest. The next morning over my puffed wheat I told Dad about reading about the wild beast. And that’s how I learned a lot about words and how they can kind of be the same but not really and are a lot of fun.
Last night was a battle as I watched the hours tick by bringing me closer to the morning of a day of working feeling exhausted. I’ve done it before and I know it’s a transient thing. I’ll sleep the next night or the night after.
So last night I read. I read an entire book – HOW TO PRONOUNCE KNIFE by Souvankham Thammavongsa. Stories so rich I came away wanting more. I came away wanting to write like that.
Still no sleep. I had a cup of warm sleepy tea. I had a couple of crackers and a drink of water. I tried unsuccessfully to sneak in to pee quietly without waking the dog up and I had to let Jasmine out and wait for her to sniff and snoff around before she wanted to come back in to bed
I wondered how Boris Johnson was doing. I Googled him and found out his status was the same as before I went to bed. I found all kinds of photos of him before his fly-away trademark hairstyle.
Next thing I know, I’m watching youtube videos of how to perfect the Trump triple comb-over. Close your iPad Sue, and go to sleep. That’s enough.