After what seems like ages of turning and tossing in bed I get up and go to the kitchen. I glance at the radio to see what time it is. 3:11. I wonder how long I have been lying wide awake. My body aches. I have been lying very still, afraid to wake up J who has an interview early in the morning. The not moving naturally makes my body stiff. I bent over the kitchen table. It’s not really dark outside. I remember back to graduation days 11 years ago when sleep was something we passed on. “Who goes to bed when it’s not dark?” we would ask each other and not go to bed before others began the next day.
I go back to bed. J spoons me, “can’t sleep?” he mumbles and I whisper a quiet no. I can’t say for sure, but his voice sounds as if he is still sound asleep. I try to block out all my thoughts. I start counting sheep. The worries come back. The sheep counting isn’t doing it for me. I hear my mother’s voice in the back of my head. “Never worry at night. At night everything always looks darker and gloomier than it really is. Worries are for daylight.”
It’s my second night of sleeping badly in a row. The worries have been very different, but both sets have kept me awake. I have been here before. I am not a very good sleeper. As a child I would talk in my sleep, walk in my sleep and I would have nightmares which woke me up drenched in sweat and with a heart beating so fast I thought it would jump out of my chest. It has gotten better, but not good enough to call me a sound sleeper. I fear I never will be.
In the end I finally fall asleep. I always do. And when I wake up, only half of me works. The other half is sound asleep. The water helps a little, the coffee tries to do its job. What gets me through the day is the hope that tonight I am so tired that not even fireworks right outside my window will wake me up.