Thursday, July 21, 2011

To Sleep, Perchance to Dream.

Many of the fine folks I regularly exchange 140 characters with share with me a certain affliction.  A few of us are insomniacs.  My mother informs me that even as a child I never slept.  This includes infancy up through adolescents.  I suppose it's been a problem for me all my life.

However, for the past few years the problem had dissipated.  I was able to lay down in bed and fall asleep with little trouble.  I may have taken a bit longer than others, perhaps an hour, but I could plan accordingly and get to sleep.

That changed about a year ago.  We'll label last year as turbulent and leave it at that.  At one point last June I was awake for 3 days straight. I was absolutely exhausted and sick because of it...but I just could not fall asleep.

At that point I decided enough was enough.  I started taking any of the many sleeping helpers (happy-go-sleepy pills) that you can get without a prescription. It was the only thing, at the time, that could get me to sleep.

Over a year later, I am just now trying to get off of them.  It's not like an addiction or anything like that. It's just, I haven't chanced not being able to fall asleep since then.  I don't know exactly why, but every time it got a bit late and I wasn't asleep, I just took the PMs.  Eventually I simply took them every night at ten o'clock that way I could be asleep by midnight or one if I was lucky.  Sometimes it didn't work, but usually it did.  Three PMs or two cups of the Quil will knock anyone out.  Prior to the last few nights, I had not fallen asleep without the aid of some sort of sleeping drug or alcohol before 3 am since last year.

I bring this up because right now I am absolutely exhausted (excuse any errors).  For the past four nights I have not taken anything to help me sleep.  I have not fallen asleep before 3 AM.  I get up for work at 7.  So I've had sixteen hours of sleep in span where I was supposed to have thirty-two.

It appears there is nothing I can do about it.  My roommate asked the basic questions: are you eating too late?  Do you do too much right before bed?  Have you considered not watching TV?  Perhaps you shouldn't hang out in your bedroom during the day.  All the things I've thought of before and tried to remedy.  None have worked.

I don't know what it is exactly.  As I've discussed here several times, I hate being alone.  Prior to last year I hadn't slept alone in over two years.  I really despise sleeping alone (I don't like the dark when I'm alone.  I suppose that's childish.  It's not fear...I just don't like it).  I know that when I turn the lights out and teevee off I start to think about all the bad things that have/are/will happen.  I tend to think about the past.  I know that must play a roll.  But I don't do that all of the time and often times I simply don't turn the teevee off at all.  Perhaps I'm scared of those thoughts.  Perhaps until I have exactly the life/job/relationship I want I will be perpetually terrified of tomorrow.

After all, if I don't go to sleep then the next day can't get me.

Friday, July 8, 2011

A Ghost In Love.

I just finished reading a book called Ghost In Love by Jonathan Carroll. It was a great book.  If you're looking for a wonderful author who writes beautiful fantasy that deals mostly with life after death, fate, love, inter-worldly connections and how we all tie together -- this is your man.

In this story Mr. Carroll developed a character named Danielle who was given the opportunity to choose between living in the present and living the rest of her life as it would, or choosing a time from her past...a moment, an hour, a day, a week...and spending the rest of her life living in that moment, feeling those things...until she died.  I won't tell you what she chose -- read the book.

This naturally led me to start thinking if given the choice, what "moment" would I choose.  When I sat down to start thinking about it I figured it would be easy, but I was wrong.  It's certainly easy to think of great moments in your life, though not all of them.  What is much more difficult is thinking of one so great, so fulfilling, so happy...that you'd be willing to live it forever.  Just think that'd have to live it forever.

With that in mind, I came up with three possibilities.  Don't worry, they are all PG-13 and below.

My first isn't a moment, it is a week.  It was 1996, I was twelve and my family went on a cruise with several other families we knew.  Each of these families had several children of their own and we all stuck together throughout the trip.  I was twelve and so was a buddy of mine there.  He had two older was fifteen and one was eighteen.  There was another family there with a couple of sons who were around fifteen and seventeen.

Despite the age disparities we all stuck together and traveled as a group. As was typical with my parents we boarded the boat, on I guess a Sunday (do cruises start on Sundays?) and said see you Saturday.  Our group spent the rest of the week carousing the clubs, Jacuzzi's, swimming pools, restaurants, etc.

What I recall most was a girl we met on the boat.  She was around seventeen or eighteen.  In fact, she spent the week sleeping with one of my friends who became her sort of "cruise boyfriend".  I forget her name but I can picture her like it was yesterday.  She was kinda short, which was about the same height as me at the time.  She was dark, dark tan with beautiful long brown hair and an incredible body.  It was a cruise so she wore only a bathing suit and short jean shorts all week long.

It was special because while Dennis (the older friend) was her "cruise boyfriend" she kind of took me under her wing and pretended I was her other little cruise boyfriend.  Now, of course she wasn't actually treating me like she did Dennis, I was after all twelve...but she taught me a lot and made me feel really special.  I hadn't had confidence like that in all my life.  I did things that week that I'd never done before.  I sang karaoke, I stayed out until 3 in the morning with groups of grown girls, smoked a Cuban cigar, I kissed a girl unprompted for the first time, and I'm pretty sure she put me through puberty in one week.

She showed me things that I hadn't known before.  She triggered my interest in women and taught the introductory things a boy needed to know.  Yes, I was incredibly attracted to her...but it was more than that.  She made me feel better about myself.  And I think I could spend the rest of my life on that boat with her.

My second is closer to a moment.  I remember a morning in bed with my then girlfriend.  I will not mention which one it is.  I am a bit of a deep sleeper.  It is difficult to wake me up in the morning.  The only way to successfully do it without getting unconsciously swung at is by moving my head.  Just jostle my head a little and I'll wake up.  What this makes possible is movement, motion and sound without me waking up.

However, this morning I did wake up...I just didn't open my eyes or move for a while.  I suppose I wanted to enjoy the morning coze a little bit longer.  What I didn't expect was what is perhaps the sweetest thing that has ever been done for me.

She, believing fully that I was asleep, rolled over and laid on her elbow so that her head was off the bed and hovering above mine.  She kept a hand free and stroked by hair.  As she did this she started whispering to me.  She told me how she loved me so much it hurt some times.  She told me that she would do anything for me and that me being happy was all that she wanted.  She said that no matter how tough things got, no matter how hard anything ever seemed that we would get through it. She told me she'd never let me leave her.  She told me she sometimes worried that she isn't enough, but that she always had and always will, try her best.  For the first time in our relationship, she completely opened up and became that sap that already was, and she never could be.

I laid there for a few more minutes pretending to sleep and gathering myself.  After a while I pretended to wake up.  I didn't want her to know I was listening.  She would have been embarrassed.  I never told her that I heard what she said.  I hope she gets to read this so she can know I was listening.  I think I could live those thirty second for the rest of my life.

My final one involves my last girlfriend.  We met in 2008 on a law school softball trip to Virginia.  We were to ride in the same truck with three of our classmates for the seven-eight hour drive.  I remember, prior to meeting her, the driver actually gave me his phone so I could call her to tell her to come down to the truck.  It was the first time we spoke.

I am of the taller variety and everyone else in the car was not.  I thought this entitled me to shotgun since I'd need to stretch out my legs and back.  Another friend of mine, Dan, didn't agree.  He threw a kinda fake, kinda not fake hissy fit and sat on the sidewalk saying he wouldn't get in until I got in the back seat.  I didn't feel like dealing with this, so I obliged and went into the to her.  I suppose I have him to thank for everything that has transpired since.

The first thing I noticed about her was her grey-blue eyes.  Then I realized she was a living replica of Aphrodite from Botticelli's Birth of Venus (a nickname that lasted).  I was intrigued.

We spent the next seven and a half hours flirting playfully.  We didn't stop laughing the whole time.  She told me about her Rangers fandom, which I am too...and how she was a Padre and Chargers fan.  After she got knocked out of a geography based car game...she helped me cheat by looking up answers on her blackberry and flashing them to me when it was my turn.  When my back started hurting after hour 4 and I leaned forward to put my head between my knees to stretch...she started rubbing my back for me.

Then we arrived at the softball tournament and we never left each others side.  We warmed up before games together, had catches, drank beers, nurtured various clumsy injuries and ate together.  I remember her fixing my hair for me Saturday night before we left for the bar.

By the time the ride home started on Sunday we knew what was going on.  She drove the first couple of hours on the way home while I slept in the back seat.  Then she switched to the back seat next to me.  We spent the next 5 hours holding hands and sleeping on each others shoulders.  We didn't stop for two and a half years.

I think I could ride in that car for the rest of my life.

So those are my moments.  I honestly can't say for certain which one I would choose.  Perhaps you can help me figure it out.  I would also love to hear what you might choose as your eternal moment.  The place where you would stay for the rest of your life if you could.