Insomnia

I’m a famous insomniatic (I know that’s not really a word, but, well, it is now).  I’m known for my inability to sleep.

But what is little known about true insomniatics is that we are also known for our ability to sleep anywhere (the National Portrait Gallery in London, the New York City Fourth-of-July fireworks display, and my best girlfriend’s wedding, just to name a few) because, when insomnia releases you from her deadly grip, you crash like a tiny puppy in a YouTube video (sans cuteness).

Insomnia is horrible.  And inexplicable.  Well, I suppose if I weren’t so lazy I could look up some documentation from notable medical sources, but boring myself to sleep has never worked in the past so I’m not going to try it again now.

In my younger days, I was known as the person who could party all night and yet turn up, bright as a penny, for work in the morning.  Insomnia’s one fine point.   I was lucky to have bosses who never bothered to look for me at 3:00 pm because I was a crashed-out, drooling mess under my desk.  If they were aware of my napping habits, I’d like to think my work was so stellar that they overlooked this breach of any sensible corporate protocol, but, probably, they, too, were just too lazy to fire me.

Currently, I don’t have a regular job and insomnia has attached herself to my face like a soul-sucking octopus.  The worst part isn’t that I can’t sleep for more than three hours at a clip, it’s that insomnia destroys your ability to function with any form of clarity.

I’m easily distracted as it is:  I don’t need any extra help.  I found myself staring at falling snow for, I think, about 45 minutes.  That’s scary (unless you’re a poet).  (Which I’m not.)  (Not that I dislike poetry – okay I do – it’s more an aversion to iambic pentameter.)

The other day, after alphabetizing my nail polishes, I spent several hours sitting on the floor trying to teach my dog a card trick.  This would have been a worthwhile endeavor if we’d already mastered something useful like “sit.”  Which we haven’t.  And “heel” only applies to ex-boyfriends.

You might wonder why I, as a woman, would refer to this rather cruel affliction as a woman.  Well, I’ve been on this planet for a while now, and, not to speak ill of my sex, I do know my sex.  I used to be in politics and this was something I found to be an almost absolute truth:  Men are corruptible (money, sex, power, fame – name your poison – offered the right concoction, all will fall.)  Women are not, generally, corruptible.  However, they will fight for a cause long after the cause has ceased to be.  They just won’t let it go.  Women won’t compromise, delegate, or raise the white flag.  (I’m having a “We have to pass it before we can read it” moment.)  My sister-in-law is still picking at my brother for offenses he committed back when they were dating – 25 years ago!!!!  (He was not flirting with that girl who is probably a grandmother now!!!  Let it go already!!!)

As a Councilwoman, I was given a citation for my ability to work across party lines, for putting the welfare of my constituents above all else, and for generally being ladylike while not womanlike (I’m paraphrasing the plaque).  Ha! to all of that – I’m just a lazy insomniatic.

For all of this I would love for Lady Insomnia to get her grubby paws off of me.   I’ve tried alcohol/canine therapy (which involves vodka and letting the dog sleep on my chest) and, while the habit of afternoon cocktails was as easy to slip into as my yogurt pants, the results were just more drool and late dinners.  Not a solution for the long haul.

I’ve tried various teas – did ya know this?  Even decaffeinated tea has more caffeine in it than coffee.  I bothered to look this up.  And I purchased an air spray which was supposed to induce sleep but just made the dog sneeze.  You try skipping off to Sleepy Town with a sneezing dog on your chest.

There are some up-sides to all of this:  I’ve seen every, single episode of all eight seasons of Supernatural (call me, Jensen!) – twice – and I’m close to solving the mystery of England’s fascination with James May.  I’ve also got the most organized pantry on the planet and don’t get me started on the finer points of alphabetizing spices.  It’s amazing what you can accomplish at 4 a.m.

But is that my point?  I usually do have a point, but the lack-o-clarity thing is interceding.  I think I’m ready for a nap.  Where’s the dog?

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    Kaye Ernst

    Born and raised on the Jersey Shore, a few years ago I decided to trade sand for pea gravel and make the Poconos my full-time home. I now live in a beautiful gated community with the world's cutest dog, Layla. Hopefully, my musings will make some ... Read Full
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