I am sitting here at my desk typing this post at 3:49 a.m. in spite of the fact that I didn't go to bed last night until 4:30 a.m., and then had to go teach my three-hour Shakespeare class today with eyes like two holes burned in a blanket and the tendency to start like a nervous horse every time my students made loud noises, like blinking.
I was very excited about going to bed tonight.
So imagine my dismay when I got upstairs and discovered two things:
1) my allergies were acting up, resulting in about fourteen sneezes in a row. The sneezes brought murmurs from members of my trying-to-get-to-sleep family
2) it was a very humid evening due to rainy weather -- humid and cool, my least favorite weather, like, EVER. Which meant that sticking my feet under the sheet and blanket felt like sticking my feet into a folded damp bath towel.
I thought these two things were adequate reasons as to why we should turn on the central air, but my husband demurred. Or maybe "demurred" is too soft a word. Actually, what he did was look at me with an expression of incredulity, as if my desire for a humidity-free home was so insanely diva-like and spoiled, I had suddenly metamorphosed into Barbra Streisand, Beyoncé, Mariah Carey and Jennifer Lopez, all at the same time. Try to imagine the hairdo, the outfit, the fingernails that would go along with such a transformation, I dare you. Then NONE of us will sleep.
The sneezy feeling continued and I slept very, very lightly for about an hour and a half. I know that many of you who read here have dealt with this same thing, so we all know how frustrating this is: one moment, you're so sleepy you'd have to use orange traffic pylons to prop your eyes open, and the next minute, you are completely wide awake, thinking, "But I have to get up in FOUR HOURS." It is a bitter experience.
I tried to go back to sleep, I really did. But it is a wild, windy thunderstormy night out there. The window right next to my head was rattling in its frame like a drawer full of silverware and lightning kept flashing in my eyes annoyingly. I think many of us can agree that achieving sleep is difficult at the best of times, but just about flippin' impossible if there's someone standing by your head, turning a high powered flashlight off and on at random intervals.
So I got my glasses and my lip balm and my book and trundled downstairs, muttering, because that's where the Benadryl is. I usually take just one, but considering that I couldn't sleep AND I started with the sneezing again as soon as my feet hit the floor, I TOOK TWO, PEOPLE. I'll regret that tomorrow when my eyelashes are picking up lint off the carpets due to residual drowsiness, but for right now, I am starting to feel those first faint vestigial stirrings of delicious sleepiness.
It's still rainy and windy, but the thunder and lightning have moved on to torment some other insomniac thirty miles east of me. I have a pleasantly creepy Dean Koontz book to read (I like his creepy books because goodness and love and loyal friendship always win out in the end, which is a requirement for me in any fiction I read) and I think I'll go back upstairs now and see if I can persuade my eyes to close.
Meanwhile, here's a great Walt Disney Silly Symphonies cartoon from 1938 featuring the great old-fashioned animation and the words to Eugene Fields' famous nighty-night poem, "Wynken, Blynken and Nod."
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