If you have been hanging with me for awhile, you have witnessed my complaints about my cat, who waits until we are cozy in our bed to jump up and start a discussion, which tends to involve some pacing (on Catabulous’ part) and a lot of position changes (on everyone’s part.) Until finally we (I) decide it is worth it to get out of the warm covers and secure the cat in the basement with as much self-control as I can muster. Perversely, I sometimes think this is what he wants, like a tired and cranky toddler throwing a fit because he is begging to be put to bed. Put yourself in the basement, I try to tell him. But the language barrier, you see my problem. I am going a little farther with this metaphor than I need to, but I am tired. Last night, my problem wasn’t the cat, who was confined to the basement BEFORE we got into bed (ha HA!) Last night, after about an hour and half of sleep to take the edge off the bone-grating weariness I had acquired throughout the day, my eyelids fluttered open and somebody else wanted to start a discussion. My muse.
Stop looking at me like that. The muse is REAL. If you don’t have a muse that literally speaks to you, you are probably imagining me posing theatrically, one hand to my heart and the other to the ether, as a toga draped nymph whispers in my ear. I would LOVE to set up a shot like that, but I have unbelievable bedhead today and all the little girls in my neighborhood that I might dress in a toga for the image are at school right now. The more I think about it, the more I want to do it. Good LORD, sleep deprivation is the death of impulse control. If I decide to do the picture, I’ll update the post later. Moving on. So yeah, as I was saying, the muse is REAL. I will not disparage her because to do so seems to me to be the height of stupidity, but she is kind of…persistent? And…loud? One random thought leads to a phrase, which gets reworked and reworked until another phrase or two is formed. Then maybe a sentence that is relevant but not precisely connected. Then, I start to worry that I am going to lose the thread of what I am putting together, because my memory and attention span are really not all that good, but this line of thinking is becoming very interesting, almost brilliant. I also realize that I am getting farther and farther from sleep, so I grab for the assortment of notebooks and post-it pads that I keep on my bedside table, to get the high points written down so I can let the rest go and slip back into blessed slumber. But I have no pens. Ever. Maybe a pencil too dull to use. I dither. Will I remember in the morning? Will I kick myself for not writing it all down? Experience says ‘No’ and ‘Yes.’
Last night, for some reason, I went into our bathroom, thinking maybe there might be a pen in there, even though I know better, and considered digging out my eyeliner pencil for a quick note, but I was making a lot of noise walking around and crashing into things already, which was stressing me out. More and more awake. I gave up and groped my way into the guest room, running into the hollow core door with a resonant “donk!” as I did, then switched on the light and finally made three notes for a post on music. Good for me! Back to bed. But my muse was not done with me. Snatches of songs chased around in my head, particularly one from my childhood, one I suspected was the key to shutting the party down. I slumped with resignation, then flipped back the covers and grabbed a pillow and Grandma’s quilt I keep nearby for this kind of night. I crept through my nighttime house and collected my iPod, which I set to Beethoven’s Piano Sonata #14 in C Sharp Minor, also known as “Moonlight Sonata.” It is a song I heard my mother and both my older and younger sisters play on the piano innumerable times as I grew up. In fact, during a homesick time in college I asked my younger sister to tape record herself practicing the piano so I could listen when I felt blue, and this was one of the songs she played. During one section of repetitive, quiet lines her voice is recorded on the tape saying, “Wake up, Lynnette,” which always made me laugh. I still listen for that strain. It is the kind of song that requires my full attention, and evokes more emotion than imagery, which quiets my brain. I listened to it three times before my muse agreed we were through for the night and slipped off to wherever she goes. Which is what I think she was looking for all along. Perhaps she was tired and cranky and needed me to play a little bedtime music; all the rest was just a setup, her version of my cat’s pacing and mrrowing for my attention. I looked at my notes this morning (had 100% forgotten what I’d written down,) and they aren’t bad, but in daylight they lack the brilliance I had hoped for. I think the best I can hope for is that if this continues, my sleep-deprived altered consciousness might eventually come up with something really interesting. For now, I must go and do something about this hair.
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