Monday, March 22, 2010

Tick Tick Tick

I spent the last few hours in that twilight sleep you get when you fall asleep in front of the TV in a slightly uncomfortable position so you can never really fully reach that full deep sleep, your neck always ends up with a crick in it, your feet are cold since the blanket on the couch isn't long enough, and the blinding blue light from the TV seeps in under the slits of your eyelids and infects your thoughts. You can't shut off your brain, your thoughts wander off into a tangent like your neighbor's epileptic cat who always pukes in your bushes.
Your infected thoughts turn into your own version of the show you think you are watching on TV. Not quite the same since you are not hearing everything correctly, and your own imagination is twisting words around like a weird rubic's cube. Just like you are sitting in on someone else's conversation. One that you cannot join in on since you are not awake enough to steer your consciousness in the direction you want it to, and not fully asleep enough to just enjoy the dream and relax. A conversation you cannot believe you are hearing. A conversation you don't think people should even be having. Discussing thoughts you think should not be shared, and yet creating such a vivid, alluring picture of it all. Your own Spelling Drama but with the voices of television announcers and the faces of your friends, but with different hair. Talking about cat food and other things you forgot to put on your list. All of the worries of your day seem to seep into this nightmare of a conversation all being had at the food court of your local indoor mall for everyone to listen in on. Why is your high school gym teacher sitting at the next table? Why is she with your ex-boyfriend? Why do they have a bag from Gymboree? Just when they are getting to what happened to the lemon pie and you are trying to wrap your brain around just what you are hearing and why, you are abruptly awakened from your taunted faux slumber by a spider walking across your face and smack yourself to kill it before you can comprehend what is going on.
It takes a second to figure if I was smacked in my dream, or have really just smacked myself.

Nope I have dead spider on me. Right on my cheek. That is gross. What kind of a spider was it? Did it bite me? Where did it come from? Did I leave the window open? I just vacuumed, what the hell? Is there another one? I can't go back to sleep. I feel like every hair on my body now is a spider moving across my skin looking for a thin spot to sink its teeth in and suck out my low iron enriched blood. What if there is an army of face biting spiders right under the cushions of my couch and I am too lazy to get the vacuum out again and clean them up, and yet too scared to look if they are actually there. I get up, turn the TV off, and go into the bedroom.

So I am so tired I can't even imagine starting a new task at this point in the night, like putting away the laundry still sitting in the dryer which I have already decided I will just fluff again for 20 minutes while I am getting ready in the morning and then hang up so I don't have to iron it. Or looking for the book I said I was going to get around to reading, which would surely relax my mind enough to gently drift off to a nice relaxing slumber. But just the thought of thinking where to look is too taxing, I turn on yet another TV and try to turn my mind off with the talking heads on the screen. I have to stay away from Animal Planet though or the dog will wake up and bark at the animals on the screen. He is so stressed out by them. I am convinced he thinks there is another dog trying to get in to the window I stare at in the living room all night when the pet food commercials come on. Why did I have to add cat food to the list in my dream? I haven't had a cat in 10 years. It really stresses him out and it makes me mad that he gets out of the comfortable cuddle we have going on and lunges at the very expensive TV and won't stop barking until I have convinced him that nothing is coming out of the screen. This happens several times in one night. I have tried training him, I have tried yelling, I have tried treats. I now just cover his eyes when I know there is an animal about to come on, or ghost, or Santa Claus, or sometimes canned ham. He is less upset by me covering his eyes than he is by me trying to calm him down after he has started barking, so I figure it is best for both of us.

I have fallen into this pattern where I sleep all morning and cannot sleep all night. This started a long long time ago. When I started working mornings at the coffee shop, I thought I should just go to bed early, so I can get up early, but that didn't work. Couldn't fall asleep. After a week of getting up at 5 AM and not going to bed until midnight, you would think I would be so exhausted, my body's internal clock would reset itself. Even to the time I got into bed, or sometime around there. But no, I was just exhausted. All the time. Then I would have trouble sleeping fearing I was not going to wake up on time since I was so tired. So that is how I assume the insomnia started. I have tried working jobs at night since I can then sleep for most of the morning and still have somewhat of a life, but I just feel guilty for sleeping so late and wasting the day. Working days I am usually so tired by the time I get home, I just want to veg out and relax. I don't have quite enough energy to do anything or make plans. I don't want to get dressed to go out and make the effort to call anyone, but then I am never quite tired enough to go to sleep and the cycle continues.
I know what you are thinking. Have I tried sleeping pills? Yes I have. I was so afraid I was not going to wake up, that I waited until the night before my day off so I would not have to worry about sleeping through the alarm, or being groggy, or sleepwalking, sleep eating, or not remembering what I did before I fully woke up. Instead I fought sleep for the first few hours after I took them and then had the most vivid hallucinations I cannot comprehend or remember only to wake up in a sweat at 4 AM and not be able to get back to sleep. My head in a fog, I tried to read a book only to realize I was too drugged up to focus my eyes onto the words arranged on the pages. The whole next day I felt hung over and paranoid. I decided sleeping pills were a bad idea.
The timer that I have set on the Tv for it to go off after 75 minutes is blinking. I have 30 seconds. And now the room is dark. And now my mind grasps to focus on anything to keep active and not drift off into the alluring world of dreams where it goes where it pleases and pays no attention to detail or rhyme or reason. No sense has to be made, just a series of images and thoughts being purged for the day. But instead, just a list is being made of things not to forget to write down to do for tomorrow that I know I will not get to because I am too tired from not sleeping tonight. Where is the tape measure? Is it in the box with the level? When was the last time I used that level? Why did I get such a big one? I should have gotten a smaller one that I could put in my pocket so when I am on the ladder with a hammer i don't have to try to hold the level too. That way I have a hand free to hold up the picture while I check if it is level.
Go to sleep!!!!! Can't dream of sheep because the damn insects in the fields somehow always work themselves into my dreams and I am stuck in the mud next to the fence and need to be on the other side for some reason, but can't jump the fence since I will lose my shoes in the mud and there are more spiders on the fence.
Great, now I hear the clock in the other room. I thought I pulled the battery out of that thing. Tick, Tick Tick. damn! cant focus on anything else. Hear my eyelashes move against the pillowcase every time my eyes move behind my eyelids. Tick, Tick, Tick. I am so comfortable, I cant get up now. I should just stay here and maybe I will drift off for a few hours, at least it is dark. Tick, Tick Tick.