The night time is the right time

“What hath night to do with sleep?”
John Milton, Paradise Lost

It’s been a good day. Although officially that good day ended at midnight but I am not here to argue over a few measly hours. The kids had good days at school, my wife’s cold is improving, and there has not been any police activity on my street in nearly 2 weeks. All is good. Today, er, yesterday also was interesting in the way that so many people have started to connect with some of the inane ramblings that this blog has become. I am honored that some are enjoying it although I admit it is a little overwhelming in that I now feel the need to actually try to write something good more than once a fortnight. So it is inevitable that the peace of the day would come to a grinding halt as the sun goes down. Although I do love the daylight hours, living in Florida makes that a necessity, the night has always been a challenge for me. For the night is the domain of my enemy and his name is Sleep.

First of all, I need to establish the fact that I am not a medical insomniac( oh, “medical insomniac” is a great band name too). It’s not that I am physically unable to sleep,it’s just that my brain for some reason keeps derailing my snooze train before it leaves the station. I have a busy day, do lots of physical activity, drink one alcoholic beverage to calm my nerves, then follow that with several others to kill the nerves that won’t calm down, and then put on my footie pajamas with the rocket ships on them and head to bed for a night of blissful slumber. As I settle in and prepare to drift off, it happens. Just one thing. A tiny random thought will creep into the theater of my mind and before I know it, he has propped open the back door and let in all of his slack-jawed yokel friends. They rush into my thoughts and kick sleep’s ass all the way to the curb.

I try to evict them but they just dig in their heels and chain themselves to my psyche. I can’t ignore them and I can’t get rid of them so I must find another way to regain my control of the night. I log on to the computer, a necessary step to anyone who wants to self diagnose what are probably significant psychiatric problems, and see what ole doctor internet can do to fix me up. The main solution seems to be sleep inducing medications. I am sorry but that just isn’t going to work. The various sleeping meds that I see advertised on television, I don’t have a Tivo so I have to actually watch the commercials, always include such dire warning labels. Here is just a few of them:

  • Burning or tingling in the hands, arms, feet, or legs. Good luck drifting off to sleep if you feel like you are wearing skinny jeans made of fire ants.
  • Changes in appetite. Duh. You can’t eat when you are asleep.
  • Constipation. Gross.
  • Diarrhea. That is exactly what I need to have when I am about to be made artificially unconscious for 8 hours.
  • Difficulty keeping balance. Have you seen how much these pills cost? I doubt I will have any balance left in my account.
  • Dizziness. Honestly, I probably wouldn’t even notice.
  • Drowsiness. Um, that is not a side effect. That is what I want to happen.
  • Dry mouth or throat. It’s Ambien, not Maui Wowee.
  • Gas. A dutch oven isn’t just what a cowboy uses to cook with.
  • Headache. Figures.
  • Heartburn. How the hell can I get heartburn when it is supposed to make me not be able to eat. Geesh
  • Stomach pain or tenderness. I am counting sheep, not letting them run over me.
  • Uncontrollable shaking of a part of the body. Hey, do I at least get to choose which part?
  • Unusual dreams. So the one I am having lately about the aardvarks and the lawn gnomes covered in chocolate syrup is considered normal?
  • Weakness. Of course I am weak. I CAN”T FREAKIN GO TO SLEEP.

I have had this problem with sleep for a while, even since I was a kid. There were only one way to fix it back then. The only remedy was good ole Nyquil. I loved Nyquil. No, not the taste. Grape or cherry? How about not. It only had one flavor, and it was straight Liquid Hell. It was so nasty that just thinking about it makes my tongue swell. What I admired about it, was that it did exactly what it was supposed to do, put  enough barbiturates in your young body to knock out half of Seattle. That’s why Nyquil  has a name with only 2 syllables. Because you are gonna be asleep before you get to syllable number 3. Remember how your mom would always give you Nyquil in your room? Know why? Because if you took it in the bathroom, you would probably drown. To show how great this “cold medicine” was, they now have a version that doesn’t treat any symptoms, it just knocks you out…er, let’s you fall asleep. My only problem with it was the odd warning on the bottle.”May impair your ability to operate heavy machinery”. Damn. That is just what every 12-year-old with a 104 degree fever wants to do at 3 in the morning, go joy riding a bulldozer. Thanks for nothing Nyquil.

Since our medicine cabinet seems to be devoid of any  of the aforementioned liquid horse tranquilizer, I will follow the only other advice I could find. It says to clear your mind by writing down all of the thoughts that are keeping you awake. O.k. Here goes:

  • What’s that noise?
  • Did I leave the iron on?
  • Can I get a rash underneath my skin?
  • What ever happened to Pauly Shore?
  • What if they are right about soccer?
  • That guy at the gas station sure looked a lot like Carrottop.
  • Is it o.k. to hate that Honey Boo Boo family, including the kid?
  • Did I set my fantasy football line up in time?
  • How can the Ice T on Law and Order SVU be the same guy that used to sing “Cop killer”?
  • Is that a bump?
  • I don’t remember buying these underwear.
  • Is Cats now and forever?
  • What ever happened to Right Said Fred?
  • If I had to pick 3 sister wives, could I make them give me a résumé?
  • Mmmmmmm. Chocolate.
  • What are gummy bears actually made of?
  • I want to go to Disney World.
  • If I had to defuse a bomb, which wire would I cut?
  • Could I fight off a monkey if I had to?
  • The idea of flying invisible zombies is really scary.
  • What if my wife didn’t know I was kidding?

This is so stupid. I wrote all the things down and nothing seems different at all. What a complete and total waste of ti……………………………….zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.


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