Tuesday, September 3, 2013

She didn't bat an eye

"Around us the night creatures have their say. 
We are surrounded by a symphony."

-- Libby  Bray, The Sweet Far Thing

Self portrait 9-3-13

"The streetlight outside my house shines on tonight 
and I'm watching it like it could give me a vision ... 
make me bright and beautiful
so all the moths and bats would circle me 
like I was the center of the world and held secrets."

-- Sherman Alexie,  
The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven

"The baby bat
Screamed out in fright,
Turn on the dark,
I'm afraid of the light."

-- Shel Silverstein

My sleep doctor gave me a prescription.
It's not a pill.
It's rules.
It's a sleep prescription.
She said that for the next several weeks, I have to take sleep like it's medication ... at specific times and specific doses. 
She didn't bat an eye as she told me I am not allowed to go anywhere near bed until 3 a.m., and that even if I don't fall asleep until 7 or even 7:30, I still have to get up at 8.

If it works and I start sleeping solidly between 3 and 8 a.m., my "dose" gets titrated up. The plan is to increase my allowed amount sleep weekly until I am ultimately sleeping a healthy number of regular hours.


It's part of my insomnia "cure." It's a process called sleep restructuring, and I really hope it works. 

Like many prescriptions, there are side effects. For instance:
  • You may watch endless back to back to back to back episodes of Miami Ink, because you've already watched every episode of L.A. Ink and New York Ink.
  • You may stand on the patio in boxer shorts in the rain at 1 a.m. and take pictures of the sky.
  • You may drink a bottle of O'Doul's at 2 a.m., even though you think O'Doul's tastes like dirty dishwater, but you are supposed to avoid alcohol near bedtime but the guys on Miami Ink are drinking beer and a cold one sounds really fucking good right now. 

Staying up until 3 a.m. isn't easy. I kind of run out of stuff to do. If I try to read, I doze off. And that's a no-no. I'm not supposed to do anything "stimulating." I'm supposed to do intentionally boring shit. Hence, the Miami Ink.

So for most of those long, night hours, I just "am."
I hang out.
I exist.
I wait.
I'm a lonesome night creature watching the slow crawl of time until my next meager fix.