I can?t sleep.
This might have something to do with the fact that my pre-bedtime activities consisted of watching ?Indiana Jones and the Temple of Lots of Snakes? and eating a fuzzy navel-flavored snow cone. Snakes and sugar are rarely the winning elixir for nighttime revitalization.
That?s one possibility, but the more likely culprit is the fact that every few nights my brain decides it doesn?t want to shut down, so I?m left to toss and turn until the wee hours of the morning, thinking about everything I need to do.
Like write my column, which is what I?m doing now.
There is a certain creative solitude intermittent insomnia brings that leads to quiet productivity.
Sure, I could be watching TV right now instead, but the only things on are paid programming and a heart wrenching PBS documentary about a young Russian girl trying to find her big break in the discriminating and cutthroat industry of hand modelling.
(I might have made some of that up.)
Instead, I?ve opted to check one thing off my to-do list and write this column. However, in the event that sleepiness does strike, I have remained in bed.
I?m writing all this on my iPad, complete with the synthetic typewriter tapping of each keystroke. Sleeping next to me is my wife, who is at this moment probably having a bizarre dream about chattering teeth, wind-up toys and castanets.
I?ve had adverse reactions to the Sandman?s nightly dusting for years. There?s an old wive?s tale?or at least my dad?s wife?s tale?about a certain blond, rounded-headed baby who refused to sleep. Instead he would sit in his crib and fuss about everything he needed to do, such as meet his burp quota, watch the same ?Barney? episode five hours straight and stuff handfuls of potentially poisonous leaves into his mouth.
School years were about the same (minus ?Barney?). College got worse because I didn?t even attempt to sleep. Instead, I promised myself a nap the next day, which was a commitment I never honored on account of the fact that once my head did finally find a pillow, my brain would launch into what I should be doing instead.
I?ve attempted countless schemes to trick myself into the nocturnal intermission from life.
One of the most promising ideas was to simply loop the melody of Brahm?s Lullaby in my head until it lulled me to Dreamland. My musical training sabotaged this effort, however, when each stanza built on the previous with increasingly complex imagined orchestrations.
It?s hard to sleep with the members of a 100-piece orchestra residing in your noggin.
And so I continue through these reoccurring sleepless nightmares, just a man and his thoughts. And a very sudden fear of snakes.