What sleep may come

hermie and me

My need for sleep has started to frighten me.

Granted, I’ve always been a sleepyhead, but now, I am out of control. On Monday night last week, I fell asleep sometime after midnight… but sometime before one o’clock in the morning. I awakened the next day to unexpectedly bright sunlight. Then, I paddled to the kitchen, looked at the oven clock, and said, “damn, the power must have gone out last night. The clock stopped at 4:44.” I went over to my phone to look at the real time, and got an unpleasant surprise. It was 4:44.

In the afternoon.

I had slept damn near into the evening.

The phone revealed that my husband and kids had been trying to contact me all day, to no avail, and they were starting to get worried. It was embarrassing to call them back and say, “Sorry… I just woke up.” What kind of a loser goes to bed at midnight and wakes up in time to get ready for dinner? I started my conversation with each of them with the same kind of self-appalled apology, and then answered their logical questions. No, I wasn’t sick. No, I hadn’t had anything to drink the night before. Yes, I have been taking all my meds.

There’s nothing wrong physically, and I’m in a very good place psychologically. I just slept for about fifteen hours.

That night, I was afraid to fall asleep again… or maybe I was just afraid of staying asleep. I made sure of getting nothing better than a light slumber. Instead of going to bed, I lay on the overstuffed living room couch, and started streaming favorite operas on You Tube. Tosca was first. I fell asleep at some point before the heroine offed the villain, but woke up in time to hear her lover get shot. Then I streamed Lucia Di Lammermoor, but I’m afraid the poor old thing went crazy without me: I slept through my beloved Mad Scene.  Something else came on afterward, but I don’t remember what it was. It made a very loud noise sometime after 6:00 a.m., though, so I got up, took my meds, had three successive cups of coffee, and managed to stay awake until it was time for my nap.

It was lovely and very restful… as afternoon sleep generally is.

I’ve done the same thing every night and day for a week now… and really, it has to stop. To begin with, I miss my bed… and I miss my cat, Pewter, who lives in my room, and only plays with me when I’m reasonably awake. Her grandmother, Hermione, keeps me company in the living room, but she is not one to respect personal boundaries. After I’d finally nodded off last night, she woke me by shoving her paw in my mouth.

Furthermore, those afternoon naps are going a bit too late into the post meridien, if you know what I mean. When Jeff gets home from work, I like to pretend I’ve been productive… or at least, I like to pretend I’ve bathed, dressed, combed my hair and started dinner. More than once last week, he came  home to a pillow-wrinkled, generally disheveled old lady who had a wonderful idea: “Chinese?”

I don’t know what to do. I am now afraid to sleep and too tired to stay awake.

I do have to ask though: is there really any valid reason why I should keep to a traditional schedule anymore? I don’t have to be at work at any given time. I don’t have to drive the kids to school, or pick them up, or taxi them to their activities. I do have to get dinner on the table for Jeff, but he really does enjoy General Tso’s.

Is there really any reason I shouldn’t sleep for fifteen consecutive hours if that’s what my body feels that it needs?

I wish it didn’t remind me that I’m approaching the day when I won’t wake up.




One thought on “What sleep may come

  1. What a touching, moving, well-crafted essay, Ampy. I hope you continue to allow your body to do what it needs to do and also find answers if they are out there waiting for you.

    Liked by 1 person

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