Sunday, November 04, 2007

Temporary Insomnia

I have to get up for work in three hours, but at some point it occurred to me that the raucous party going on in Apt. 1 isn't what's keeping me awake. I've slept through worse before, and they did tone it down about 2% when I knocked on the door. No. What's keeping me awake is in my head, a mind rolling over and over like boiling water, a leaping, impish thing I can't control.

Twelve teenagers and one unfortunate dog are hotboxed in a room behind my kitchen wall, any rare streak of common courtesy among them evaporating in a fog of tobacco and pot. Someday the dog, Comet, will die of a secondhand smoke-related disease, but he will die happy. That's what dogs do. They die charming. They die right.

All this behind the wall and my mind keeps drilling for memories, like two years ago when Abbie discovered that a fresh coat of nail polish over any existing lacquer on her nails would re-liquefy the base coat, making it much easier to scrape off. Therefore, she reasoned, nail polish can be used as nail polish remover.

And for some reason tonight -- or this morning -- when I think of color, the color of grilled rabbit meat makes an appearance, pale for a dark meat, stringy and shiny, almost lavender or gray. Rabbit does not taste like chicken. It tastes like nothing but rabbit.

At all the ages of my life, I have rarely been able to tolerate my peers or anyone younger than my age at the time. Younger family members and the children of friends have been the exceptions, naturally. To many complete strangers I respond with a latent violence, politely suppressed, but especially to teenagers. And here I am, living in a veritable frat house and wondering if I'm mentally ill.

Exercise endorphins aren't making me zen, and I have pains that Midol can't assuage. I'm aching, living for holidays and special occasions. Speaking of which, the Halloween party was so casually, warmly fun that I nearly didn't notice how well it was going until the end. This result even without all the work of previous years, which has always made the event a success, but in a different way. The only dark cloud was that Roger and Deb and Amanda, whose house we commandeered, had to make a pilgrimage to Salt Lake for yet another surgery. Here's hoping Amanda gets relief in exchange for missing the bash. Brain surgery seems so routine these days. Brain surgery Saturday morning, instead of a costume party.

If it really was that simple, they could find the tiny little clump in an abundance of gray matter -- probably nearly the same gray as grilled rabbit -- that's causing me so much trouble tonight. And there would be a pill or a shot or a quick slice that would act as a remote control so I could just hit "pause" or "stop" and continue my regularly scheduled programming again in the morning, because unlike someone I love incomparably, I do not enjoy being awake when the clock strikes twelve, or one, or two, or three. And if it were any other day, it would be an hour later, and I wouldn't enjoy four any more than the rest of the wee hours. It turns out that extra hour of sleep I was counting on has eluded me, as have four others.

But I'm going to try again. I don't want the cats to get any ideas. In fact, they seem downright put out. So good night, or, as the case may be, good morning.


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