i finally gave up trying at 3:43, which is when i climbed out of bed, and made myself a large cup of very strong coffee. that is where you find me. sipping cold coffee. weighing the items on that short list of "things to do". hoping that i can possibly get a single one done today.
while i would love to say that sleeplessness is a once-in-a-while occurrence, if you have been here before, you will probably know that it is my default setting most days. and it began about five seconds after i was born... in the wee hours of the morning, i would add. clearly they should have known what they were in for from day one.
my family's oral history—that being, the stories we tell each other at clan gatherings—includes accounts of me keeping everyone within hearing range up until almost dawn. my grandfather used to wrap me up in the middle of the night, and take me for long walks in the dark, if only to give the rest of the household a chance at some sleep. so... you know... this is pretty much all his fault.
worse than not being able to sleep, i came to realize that i actually liked being awake in the middle of the night, when there was no one else around to get in the way of the nonsense that tends to cloud my mind.
i once set out—somewhere back in my high school years—to make every single bread recipe in one of mom's old cookbooks. as a result, she would occasionally wake up to find a loaf of bread sitting on the counter, a testament to my having been awake all night. seriously... do you not take great pleasure in hand-kneading dough at like three in the morning? exactly.
to this day, i always know when i am in an especially pensive mood, as it tends to involve a sudden, overwhelming need to make bread. hey... i have never suggested that anything i do makes any sense.
it is later in the day, and i am pleased to announce that i just woke up from a (very out of character) nap. this likely means that i will not be able to sleep for the next two days, but it is better than no sleep at all... i guess.
while napping, i had a a dream in which we were walking around a supermarket, looking for ingredients to make an orzo and vegetable salad with a vinaigrette dressing... which brings me to the next part of the topic for today.
i love hearing people talk about their dreams—by which i (naturally) mean the ones they have while sleeping, and not their deluded aspirations while awake. it is such insight into what runs through their minds when you take away all of the distractions of waking life.
his dreams, for example, are disjointed and make little-to-no logical sense most days, while my dreams usually read like a scripted movie with a beginning, middle, and end. this seems to be an apt description of how we both approach life. he crafts a story out of absurdity, while i am stuck trying to find logic in everything. apparently i was a Vulcan in every single one of my previous lifetimes.
then there are those occasional dreams that serve to prove that i am spending far too much time around him, as the absurdity seems to be contagious.
in one recent dream, a young boy was in his room in the attic of an old house. they had been having some problems with mice, so mousetraps (the old-school snapping type) had been placed throughout the home, including one in his room.
he sat on his bed, studying a small hole in the baseboard, when a small head appeared and quickly disappeared inside said space. there it was again. and again. and again.
rather than being frightened, the boy was fascinated by the creature, and when it finally emerged from the hole, he was surprised to see that it was a girl. she panickeded when she saw the boy, and she ran back into the hole, but he assured her that it was okay to come back out.
which she did, and she proceeded to explore the room, while the boy watched and cheered as she gasped in excitement at each new discovery. then she started running back and forth, which amused him even more.
then, as she was turning the corner to run in a new direction, the boy remembered the mousetrap. he would have to act fast if he was to save his new friend's life.
then it cut to a scene of him holding up one hand that was wrapped in a bandage, while using the other hand to scratch the head of the little girl mouse who was standing up in the pocket of his shirt.
then i woke up.