Wednesday, May 25, 2016

The Structure of Insomnia

There are four acts to a sleepless night.

During Act I, you still feel a sense of calm and optimism. Sure, you have not been able to fall asleep in your first 10, 20, 45, 90 minutes of lying in bed, staring at your ceiling fan as it squeaks through its endless air-stirring repetitions. But the night is long, and your rest will come. You know you can still sleep well and awake refreshed with your alarm.

Act II begins with a snack. It can seem incredible to you that your body would initiate the hunger sequence at a time when you would normally be sleeping the sleep of the weary and just. But since you're up, you figure you might as well explore the cookie jar or see if that chicken is as good cold as it was for dinner.

The intermission is actually quite lovely. Sated from your midnight snack, you have a moment to enjoy the fact that nothing but you and the night bugs are awake. It is as if you are the only inhabitant of a strange planet called night, and you revel in the solitude. There are no ringing phones, no crying children--nothing to spoil the beauty of your sleeplessness.

Act III is when the cursing begins. Shit! Shit! Shit! you whisper/shout at yourself, as if you can yell yourself to rest and achieve sleep through overwhelmed and frustrated anger. The fact that you must be quiet to avoid disturbing anyone else in the house while hollering at your stupid, wakeful brain only adds to the misery of this portion of the evening's entertainment.

Now is the time to count all of the deadlines and appointments you will miss in the coming day and rail against the unfairness of your insomnia. If you're the crying type, your tears will fall hot and fast and desperate as you plead for the Sandman to come visit you in time to save the next day from the jaws of unproductivity.

Finally, Act IV finds you settling in front of the television set, accepting your wakeful fate. Your face may still be tearstained, but on the bright side, when else will you catch up on those F Troop reruns or learn an amazing new way to earn passive income with only a $600 initial investment?

As the sun rises the next morning, you realize you have reached the other side of night, still wakeful. You are alone, the solitary inhabitant of night who can handle no more than a touristy visit to the day.

No comments:

Post a Comment