It’s not even 4 AM; I went to bed around midnight, falling pleasantly asleep after reading much of Anthony Trollope’s The Way We Live Now. It’s very good, and what took place in his fictional 1895 applies today. Still, it was not too unduly anxiety-provoking to cause me to rise wide awake at this early hour!
Being generally unaware of things as I am, I’ve had to wonder hard as to why I am up and ready to go so early; and this is hardly the first time this has happened!
Possible Reasons Why I Am Awake after Four Hours’ Sleep
I’d been taken up by the aliens and experimented upon; either they did a very thorough job and sent me back early, or I complained and fidgeted so much that they tossed me out of the mother ship before they were finished. Who can say? In any event, they must not have given me enough Back-to-Sleep Serum. At least they put me back into my warm bed rather than dropping me into a field in England! Not only would that be uncomfortable, but it would probably smell and I would wheeze and wake up with an asthma attack.
Another reason is that maybe I never recovered from adjusting to the European time zone I lived in for two weeks in the summer of 2009. Maybe I am really a Florentine who, at this hour, should be hurling invective at a cab driver because, ONCE AGAIN, the Accademia is closed for renovations and I will not be able to see David.
Or, maybe I had a dream about Van Williams. I think he would keep anybody awake, you know? Either one would be jealous of that haircut, or resentful of the fact that we never emerge from within the depths of the tanning bed looking quite this healthy. Who is Van Williams, you ask? He was on TV in the 50s and 60s, therefore having damaged many of our psyches, including– apparently– mine, though I’d been unaware of him until last week. I think because at the time I was confusedly in love with Annette Funicello.
Maybe I couldn’t sleep because the idea for this column was rattling around in my brain like monkeys in a cage… therefore causing me to awaken excitedly and rush to the word processor… so I could write a piece about not being able to sleep: a classic instance of the time-space conundrum in which we all labor fretfully ever since the first astronauts went and poked a hole in the atmosphere.
When I awoke, I was thinking about waffles— sourdough waffles that my friend John sent me a recipe for. (It’s a good way to use the starter that’s been growing out of control in my refrigerator. Maybe it’s too warm in there? That would explain why the olives have grown beards.)
Maybe it’s because this song keeps running through my head; I can’t dislodge it. When I’m not thinking about Van Williams, or even Uhura, I am hearing this song:
Now it’s ten after four. I have great plans for today! Maybe I’ll write another chapter… fertilize the orchids… finish installing base boards! Or I’ll go to early Mass– it’s the feast of St. James the Hermit, who lived in 6th. Century Palestine and was the subject of numerous legends. I want to be the subject of numerous legends! He lived in an ancient tomb to atone for his sins and died a penitent and miracle worker. Hmm; I don’t like the part about living in an ancient tomb. It’s probably dank in there and I would wheeze and wake up with an asthma attack, and there are no legends based on asthmatics.
Or, maybe I’ll just go back to bed; after all, it’s 4:15 in the freaking morning. Who the hell is awake at this hour ?!