Something strange comes over me when I go to bed. If I’m lucky, nothing will happen and I’ll simply fall asleep once my head hits the pillow, a byproduct of a hectic, busy day.
If I’ve had too much caffeine and soda throughout the hectic, busy day and supplemented my running around with a one-to-two-hour nap, I’ll be up two-three hours, freaking out about the buzz in my legs, the phlegm in my post-nasal drip and when, if ever, I can kick this Flonase habit.
As one who once prized her three-hour naptimes, it was tough giving that up, but I had to, or else I couldn’t sleep at night anymore, like I used to. I could’ve won prizes for sleeping, and dreaming, before middle age hit. I could sleep anywhere, on an 11-hour red-eye, on a rickety rocking rowboat, standing upright in a boring cocktail party, after 12 cups of coffee during a deadline, before.
Now? With a two-year-old going on three this coming January who steadfastly refuses HIS bedtime? I’m lucky if I can catch up. I’m lucky, actually, in that unlike most other parents, I do sleep; my son James, when he finally, reluctantly gives up the “Hang out, mommy bed!,” is a better sleeper than me in my heyday.
I’m so grateful to have the quiet all of a sudden afterwards, that I’m reluctant to actually go under the covers, turn out the lights and sleep, however much my body yearns to. I want to stay up, watch all my recorded programs, from the cooking shows on the TV Food Network, to SoapNet’s soaps, to Neil Cavuto reporting on the flu epidemic, 2004, on the Fox News Channel, even those stupid commercials, the latest of which I’m obsessed, the Kohl’s women’s fashions with a catchy, upbeat pop tune in the background and the BowFlex exercise machine featuring that 60-year-old grandmother built like a brick house in her violet bikini.
I’ll be up till 1, 2 in the morning watching some B-movie on HBO, just to thoroughly soak up my alone time. I’d be in the bath with the bubbles and the People magazine and the Level 42 on the ipod, too, if I had half the chance.
If not TV, I crochet during TV, I go downstairs into the computer room to work on several online columns in progress – it sure beats a real job as a lame temp in an office somewhere in downtown Seattle, I clean up James’ hurricane downstairs, do the dishes, the clothes, clean the floors and the carpets (I’m no clean queen like my boss Katrina, however; that woman is amazing on a daily basis), I’d re-paint the house inside and out if I could, and I probably will come spring.
If Eddie’s home, from a gig or church volunteer meeting, or whatever, we watch our TV shows, maybe one movie on HBO or DVD, then it’s lights out and his snoring growing louder than a freight train I vaguely hear in the distance from Edmonds waterfront. I turn over to my favorite position, on my left side, stare at my pale green nightstand, the soundbox churning out white noise, my two boxes of tissues, my blue and white lamp, sometimes the changing shadows and lights outside my bedroom window, and let my mind wander to the previous day’s course of events, chores for the next day, topics for future columns, thoughts about friends and family, wondering what Diana is up to, if she got her master’s by now, it’s been too long since Eddie called his best friend Bruce, he forgot his Sept. 26th birthday too, and rarely, when I’m really hard-pressed to fall asleep, like, it’s, say, pushing 5 a.m. and I’m feeling the panic rising... I think of Damian Lewis, waiting for me at our beach house fantasy, in his chambray shirt and khakis, beckoning me with his smile and a glass of ginger ale (I don’t drink, hee hee).
The other week, my insomnia got so bad, I did a full-on fantasy of Damian and me, how we ran into each other in college, first day of classes, he picked my books up, made some joke about physics, and later, challenged me to a game of one on one in his driveway (shades of Bobby and my 12-year-old crush). While trying to get by his tall, lanky frame to do a lay-up, he grabbed me in mid-flight, grinning shyly and refused to put me down. Finally, he slid me lower in his arms until we were face to face, the grin changed into almost horror, embarrassment and unadulterated lust. We both pulled in close, daring each other, daring ourselves to touch, but all we could do in the end was feel the magnetic pull, breathe in the scents, and feel each other shudder as he finally let me go.
After about the fifth straight set of making love on the deck with him several dates later, listening to the waves rush over and past the shore, I found a subconscious groove to ride, and went into slumberland until—
--SNORE! Eddie had turned toward me, his left side, and proceeded to struggle for breath loudly in my ears. Groan.
Reading a book, drinking milk, having sex, taking a sleeping pill... these common remedies may be good for you, but for me, they’re extra work.
I need to be in the right mood to read a book, preferably a book with naked pictures, usually on the can.
I’d rather drink semen than milk. Truth be told, I hate milk. It, along with other dairy products, causes mucous to form in my throat and I’m honking like Felix Unger of the “Odd Couple” for hours. The milk aversion really came to a head when I was pregnant with James. I had to switch to soy milk, and organic cereal.
Any medical aid only winds up leaving me more tired and wonked out in the afternoon. Afternoon, because that’s when I come to, feeling as if a Mack truck hit me and I missed 12 solid hours of deep sleep. My dreams, especially when I’ve got a cold and am on a steady diet of Nyquil, take on a decidedly morbid, masochistic loop with mathematical equations, Looney Tunes cartoon characters and dancing computer terminals underwater.
I skipped sex, you say?
ps. Hawaii canceled. LAX in its Wednesday time slot.
Last week, I went on about my top 6 primetime shows from the major networks in “my TV so far.” Included among them was the new one on NBC, called “Hawaii.” I praised the local flavor, history and cast, as opposed to Beverly Hills with surfing over at Fox’s “Northshore.” I also mentioned my reluctance to even try new shows every fall season, because of a fear that they’ll be pulled prematurely.
Well, it happened to “Hawaii.” Late last week, I read online of its cancellation due to low ratings and low audience interest. A couple of people said they called it first, and I wondered what was in the pipe they were proverbially smoking. I also wondered, in my blind outrage, if they had some problem with Hawaii and Hawaii locals; if they’d rather daydream about visiting a paradise that no longer exists, that serves them hand and foot, than about learning firsthand about the real unique people of Hawaii in weekly episodes, against a technicolor backdrop... if there was a connection between “Northshore” becoming a hit, with mostly “haole” actors from L.A. in it, as opposed to “Hawaii” tanking immediately because there were all these local unknowns littering up the “haole” landscape.
I took it personally for about three hours, before I calmed down. I thought of the boring Middle America-heavy shows on ABC, “According to Jim,” “Faith & Hope,” and why they’re still around. My other friend told me she doesn’t even bother watching new shows until they’ve survived one year, because of the cancellation factor.
Anyway, I’m better now. At least there’s still five of my favorites remaining. And it wasn’t like “Hawaii” was anywhere close to “Magnum P.I.” But gosh it would’ve been nice if the network executives gave the new show a chance, it’s only been three weeks. It took many former hits a lot longer to catch on in the past. I guess nowadays, a show better hit during the debut or shortly after, within three weeks, or it’s out, due to worsening financial considerations.
Still, NOW how am I gonna catch any glimpse of that big Hawaiian guy who played Kaleo?! He was so cool.
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