Over the years, I’ve gotten good at sleeping through garbage trucks. I’ve had to. Every single place I’ve lived, and there’ve been well over seventy, every goddam place, my windows listen out on the first garbage stop of the day.
Every one! What are the odds? But last night, a couple hours before sleep, I thought, no matter what, I’d like to get up the first time I wake up, tomorrow.
Because I had such a scary long stretch of nightly foot cramps, I’m talking two months solid no matter what I did, and if there was any respite I’d be in an every-half-hour hot-flash cycle anyway, and then I discovered quinine. Cousin Marilyn said, actually. The FDA took it off the market as soon as they understood that it worked better and was safer than any of the “restless leg syndrome” drugs, and without new drugs to monitor and approve even when they have horrific side effects, the FDA would be OOB. Out of business. I made that up. I’m a little sleep-deprived. Where was I? Oh, yeah, quinine in massive doses could kill you, but what couldn’t? Water’ll kill you if you drink enough of it at once.
Is anyone surprised that I’m digressing again? I thought not.
Last night, I thought, enough. Enough of this going-back-to-sleep and luxuriating in the next couple hours, no getting-enough-rest for me! I’m a creative artist! I create best when I’m a little underslept, and my working, useful days are much shorter when I spend an extra hour or two in the a.m. sack. I drank my nightly glass of tonic water – don’t tell the FDA or they’ll take that off the market, too – did my sudoku, read my books, and burrowed into my bedding.
I heard the garbage trucks, just a little, I was drifting back down, drifting hell, I was sinking like a stone, hooray, and clear as day, right next to my ear I heard *Bb4/B4 B4 Bb4/B4 three times in rapid succession, two sixteenth notes and an eighth, then a B3, then the sixteenth/eighth pattern again. That’s all. I remembered I’d left a very small dish on my alarm clock, maybe it was pressing on something? I pushed up my sleep mask – doesn’t light get you, too? – opened my eyes, lifted it, saw nothing out of the ordinary, put it back, closed my eyes. Reviewed the musical pattern in my mind, it might be important. Useful. Someday. Opened my eyes again, put the dish off the clock onto the nightstand, and the stray little thought drifted up: you said you wanted to get up the first time you woke up. And I thought, yes. I have a lot to write, a lot to work, up I go.
And yesterday. I received notification that an assignment due in two weeks really was due in two weeks, but only for me. The one-act play-with-stipulations I and three others had been assigned would be workshopped one-a-week, with me going first. And I’m not ready. The piece is at a crisis point that may last a while or might resolve quickly, but I just don’t know. So I asked whether I might not have to be the first one workshopped and lo! and behold, the person scheduled last volunteered to go first!
Yes, I’m sleep-deprived, but this does draw together.
The moral of the story is, if you ask, the answer might be yes.
Have a good, long day, everyone. I will, too.