Lost

Thursday, December 20th, 2007 • No Comments on Lost

“Don’t lose any sleep over this,” he said.

Lose sleep?  How does one lose what one doesn’t have?  I lose sleep over what chores on my list didn’t get finished today.  Bills paid.  Check.  Gifts wrapped.  Check.  Laundry folded.  Cards written.  Phone calls made.  No, no, no.  Should I do something else, since I’m awake?  No.  Better to try to sleep than to give up entirely.

I toss and turn because it is too hot.  I strip off clothes—socks, pajama bottoms, swap long sleep flannel shirt for short-sleeve T-shirt—losing sleep with every layer.  I’m awake an hour or so later, shivering because I’ve gotten cold.  Losing sleep as I pull and tug on the quilts that have slithered down to bunch around my knees—calves warm, thighs cold.

The dog barks and I jolt awake.  Heart pounding.  Did he hear something I should check on?  Waiting, waiting.  No, it’s only a cat knocking stuff off the kitchen counter.  Awake in the dark until my pulse slows. Awake long after the dog is chasing raccoons in his dreams.

Meowing cat.  Pick me up.  Pick me up.  Pick me up.  I try to ignore her.  Then I feel guilty.  She’s old and crippled and probably in pain.  I struggle from sleep—what was that I dreamed?—and pick her up.  Tuck her beside me on the bed.  She turns, circles, flicks her tail at my ear.  I lose sleep while she twitches her whiskers and yawns contentedly.

Car engine idling in front of my house.  Smack of the newspaper in the driveway.  4:30 in the morning, roughly.  He’s pretty consistent, both in time and aim.  I’m awake, but I’m not getting paid to be awake.

Another car engine followed by a car door slamming.  The next door neighbor is leaving for his hour-long commute.  I might still be awake by the time he gets to work.  Losing sleep while he’s drinking his morning coffee and avoiding a fender bender on the interstate.

Another cat meows, the dog barks again, the school bus sighs and hisses.  Woodpecker pecks on something not wood.  Neighborhood dog barks to answer my dog.  The room is too hot again.  Covers kicked off.  Sweating.  Have to pee.  Back in bed, nose running.  Need a tissue.  Back in bed, cold from getting up so many times.  Fumble around under the covers for socks and pull them on.  Pull quilts up to my neck, try to ignore meowing cats and now snoring dog.

The phone rings.  Ignore it.  Cell phone rings, forgot to turn it off.  Sigh.  Roll over.  Pillow over head.  Smothering, smothering!  Sunlight streaming in the window, hot again.  Sigh, rub eyes.  Stretch.  Stare at the ceiling fan that never sleeps.  Time to get up.  No more sleep until tonight.

“Don’t lose any sleep over this,” he said.

Thanks for the advice, doc.

Posted by Kristina in Musings

I'm a writer, editor, blogger, mama, wife and coffee lover.

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