Wednesday, June 20, 2007

alone in the world


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So many nights I sit on my side of the bed, laptop nestled against my knees, waiting for sleep to come. I could surely be more comfortable at my desk or even at the coffee table in front of the sofa in our family room. But it's far less lonely to have my husband beside me, even if he's peacefully knocked out asleep, and even if I sometimes feel like smacking him awake. Why should be able to sleep if I can't?

On these nights it feels like I'm the only conscious person on the entire planet. In the ritual shared by all who find themselves awake against their will, I continually look up to count down how many hours of sleep I can still get if I fall asleep at this very minute. Six hours, I think to myself. I can still get six hours. Then five, then four, then three, at which point I invariably start to consider forcing myself to stay awake all night, promising I will take a long nap as soon as I leave work that afternoon.

When I stay up all night, I find it hard to make the transition to the new day. In my writing, I find myself saying today when I mean yesterday. Or tomorrow when I mean today. Time becomes all jumbled in my mind, reminding me it is not natural to be awake for days on end.

At times like this I wish I could work from home or make a career of freelancing. Even better, why couldn't I be a kept woman married to a rich hunk and have a full staff of household help? If I'm going to dream, ahem, fantasize, I might as well aim high.

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