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July 21, 2011 / lynnettedobberpuhl

Insomnia Nibbles

Insomnia nibbles away the minutes of what should be my good night’s sleep. My head crowds with unwritten words, snatches of song, to-do lists and the recurrent montage of embarrassing moments past. Ghostly tickles play across my ribcage, my ankle, my neck. There is nothing there when I brush my hand against my skin. The tickle fades whether I scratch at it or not, but I can’t help myself—what if it is a bug? It isn’t a bug. Lying on my right side, my underwear bunches uncomfortably. Lying on my left gives rise to a breathless panicky feeling, what is that about? Lying on my back feels pointless. My husband is restless in the same bed but in a different universe. His sleeplessness is a dual problem: he needs to rest both in order to function and to be fit to live with. I get up so I don’t contribute to his issue. Minnesota’s fever has broken and the temp outside has dropped to 71 degrees. The moonlight makes the world bright but a little blurry; the houses are softened in a way I remember from the pre-Lasik days. I turn on my computer and am blinded by the screen. Maybe if I write my lists down I can turn off my brain for awhile: write a blog post, contact sources for next month’s article, respond to messages from the last blog post, check younger son’s summer reading, edit some short stories, look for a market for short stories, what is good enough to go out? Write something new, plan menus for the rest of the week, work out to counter all the recent indulgences, book a flight to visit mom, force the kids to clean the xbox room.

This isn’t helping. I hear the creak of the bed upstairs as my husband struggles to find repose. When he rolls over in bed, it shifts violently, like a raft riding waves in a storm.

I am grateful this doesn’t happen more often. For me it is a rare lingering visit to the surreal grey zone between daytime normal and nighttime unconscious. For my friend Kelly, this would be a normal night. She would scoff at my wimpy loss of a few hours. Call me some night when you’ve had a solid week like that, she might say. Seriously, call me, I’ll be up. I won’t call her tonight, though. That would be rude, and I’d have to get up and find my phone. I’m just sleepless, not energetic.

The sky brightens to the east. When I think of the long dark winter nights, an edging toward dawn at 4:30 a.m. seems a profligate use of daylight. That’s nature for you. All bounteous overflowing abundance, then the backhand smack of privation and/or disaster. That sounds like a blog for another day. Which could be today, now that day is arriving…

Yep. I am going down the rabbit hole all right. It is time to let my laptop get some sleep at least. Thanks for keeping me company.

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5 Comments

Leave a Comment
  1. Kelly Thompson / Jul 21 2011 6:33 am

    You should have called me…=D

  2. Kay Vallery Young / Jul 21 2011 8:01 am

    I like how you turn a bad night into a good read! Mine was just a bad night–so you could have called me–except that my end wouldn’t have been entertaining, or possibly even coherent. Back spasms again–what’s that all about? Keep writing, Kiddo–I’ve missed it like everything!

  3. Kerin Gleason / Jul 21 2011 10:38 pm

    Ever think of doing a 365 day journal? A short read per day – very entertaining or thought provoking, but either way a good read?? Think about it Sis. You’re good!

    Love ya!
    Biggest Sis

    • lynnettedobberpuhl / Jul 23 2011 11:04 pm

      When I talked to you I didn’t thank you for that absolutely fabulous compliment! If anyone else is reading this, what I said was “Man, you are demanding!” Imagine someone wanting to hear from me every day! I was worried I would wear people out posting two times a week! I’ll think about it big sis, and just because you suggested it.. Love!

  4. Amy Cooper / Jul 26 2011 4:02 pm

    It’s comforting to know I’m not the only one haunted by “embarrassing moments past”. What a silly waste of precious sleep! Especially when the witnesses to those “moments” aren’t losing a wink of sleep.

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