Insomnia. Not the one that makes you interesting in conversations, no. The real thing. The infamous hamster. But on steroids. Not getting to sleep as if it was a tradition, a form of Art. From one night to another. Until I finally faint, mouth agape, clinically dead zonked.
As a child, I rocked myself from one side to the other, my head in a pillow, until exhaustion. I didn’t care having to go through the painful hair combing sessions at dawn, so strong was my will to get me some z’s. I wanted to saw wood so bad, I had to literally shake the thoughts out of my head. Do-si-do around, do-si-do maybe I’ll fall!
With the thought that I was afraid of the dark, a strip going from my room to the bathroom was lit like a disco runway. My parents added some background classical music to calm me down. A perfect setup for a groovy waltz with my imaginary acquaintances. Yes, acquaintances. They weren’t all friends.
As an adult, I swallowed pills from time to time, just to turn the knob to “off”. And down goes Alice in that muddy hole. And up goes my corpse, face bloated, confused with some pennies residue on my tongue. Did I sleep? I guess I did.
Sometimes, I stopped fighting and simply forgot about getting a wink. In the dark, I listened with my eye wide open to the wailing of sirens; the Chinese water torture of the drip in the kitchen or the scratches and moan of the nasties. Other times, I watched infomercials enough to want to buy the God damn miracle mop; wrote my delirium, scoliosising over my computer or, if I was really desperate, tried to knock myself out with an Emile Zola novel.
Yes I tried relaxation techniques, breathing, all those things, yes, yes, yes. Yes. Results? No.
Then, I added myself a man on my mattress, and it was all the princess and the pea could take. How can I forget the presence of someone breathing down my neck while he becomes a backpack of clammy skin? Many have witnessed my metamorphosis into Gollum when their cock came to ask my tailbone If was sleeping. It wakes us from our precious sleep? We was almost to the splendiferous and it wakes usss?? From our preciousssss ssssleep???
A baby got thrown into the mix and I was done with total rest. Yes a child, now a man, he’s magnificent and my hero. Anyway, with this baby, Morpheus packed up his things and left. A mother is too much on the lookout to get to snoring. What if my kid starts walking, fork in hand, to the toaster while I’m drooling on the pillow? No. Being a mom means losing deep sleep until the toddler is old enough to go to university.
I accepted that I was condemned to join the dark circles club; that I just didn’t have the snooze gene and that my sheeps were destined to hop from here to Pi.
But, today, because life is like a box of Kleenex, I now live all alone, on my own, with no parents, no little one, no husband, no sleeping pills or chamomile tea. I do what I want, without disturbance and I sleep like a sheriff now. I’m not napping; I’m blissfully comatose for hours. Praise Saint Melatonin, I’m Healed! I sleep so well, I wake up just to really appreciate how well I’m sleeping.
In a pitch black room with plugs that tickle my eardrums, I lay or roll around, uninterrupted, in my docile blankets that shift to the whims of my trance. My peepers carrousel behind my eyelids and I whip the ass of my dragons with a mighty quill. I dream. The kind of chimera that repairs and restores. As for that hamster of mine, he’s still as muscular, but he’s become diurnal.
Regularly, I fall between a man’s sheets. I bury my head between his shoulder blades or let him interlock his knees with mine, but before I leave for Slumber Land, I have to dig a canyon between our bodies. And now, it’s impossible for me to share my crib systematically. I need to hit the hay on my island, isolated. Maybe someday, I’ll divvy up my bed more often. We’ll see. I’ll sleep on it. But for now, it’s no.
After all, having someone at my flank keeps me from some serious cradling…