Dear Sleep,

I miss you.  I feel like we have been going through a rough break up recently, but you have no idea how much I love and adore you.  I love how you curled around me at night, would hold me deeply within your silken arms that smell like comfort and peace.

I love laying on my right side and letting the cool air from the fan wash over me.  You were right there, in the blurred fan blades, in the noise that perforated the too-quiet of the room, in the occasional strobe effect of the light blinking from the television as Pat watched TV as I fell asleep.

You’ve abandoned me recently, or like to strip yourself away from me and let me fall through nightmares or tumble through long nights of sleep that equal no rest.  I don’t know what I’ve done to piss you off.  Trust me, if I knew, I would make amends, would buy you dinner, would pacify you in any way so long as you find your way back into my subconscious and be my most wonderful friend.

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My Boy

For the last two weeks, you haven’t talked to me the same way.  Maybe I’ve been too violent as I sleep, flip-flopping from side to side only to wake up and see the hours that have stretched away and the hours that still stretch ahead.  On those nights, no matter how relieved I am that it’s not 5:25, I still find no comfort that my rest is interrupted by tossing and turning.  Pat’s said that I’ve been slapping the bed, as though I am fighting away fears.

I have been dreaming about spiders again recently.  Big fat, smoothy spiders that look like black, soggy, deflated soccer balls that conform to the tips of my feet when I lightly kick them out of the way.

And money.  I have been dreaming about spending money, about going to Barnes and Noble and buying books and candy for my students because I love them so much that I can’t resist swiping my credit card.  And the guilt which blankets the dream to the point of being an emotional fog that has invaded my lungs, it stays with me as I somnolently walk through the house and try to make coffee.

Last night, I did all the right things.  I ate well, read my Bible, read part of another book, relaxed, let the dog curl up against me.  And I closed my eyes and went unconscious until a bug bite on the corner of my left ankle invaded my sleep and I was clawing at my ankle, trying first to scratch the annoyance with my right foot but I couldn’t pretzel my body around so that I could achieve the relief I was craving.  So I had to crawl further up the unconsciousness staircase so I could achieve enough locomotion to scratch my ankle with my hand.

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My beloved husband, the dog (look at the paws behind the Man), and the Girl

Scratch scratch scratch….itchiness gone.

Try to sleep…but there’s that horrible feeling again….

Use the foot.

The Foot doesn’t work.

Bend over enough to scratch, scratch, scratch.  I’m awake enough to use punctuation this time.

Back to sleep…back to itchiness….

Four times.  At least four times this happened and I started perversely worrying about fleas in the bed because the dog might actually have developed an allergy to fleas in his old age and Pat would be furious if, the one time the dog slept in the bed, the dog brought in fleas which is ridiculous because the dog isn’t scratching himself and I haven’t seen any fleas on him anyhow.

So why is my foot itching?

Damn it sleep, if you were there, I wouldn’t be having these il-lucid thoughts in the middle of some God-forsaken night during which I’m trying to find the sleep that I have lost over the last three weeks.

The black rings under my eyes make me look goth, but I gave up being a punk twenty plus years ago.  I’m still not certain how I would be classified, but since I’m not trying to fit in with any high school cliques, this doesn’t matter.

Until I haven’t slept and then all the little neuroses voices start screaming in my head again because I am so tired that I let the gerbils just run and run and run.

I have to grade papers.  I have to clean the house.  The dishes need to be washed.  The lawn needs to be mowed.  The Girl hasn’t put on her sunscreen before she is mowing the lawn which I should have made sure she did.  I need to pay the bills.  I need to wrap up grades. I need to make sure that I’m ready for tomorrow’s planning workshop with my colleagues.  I need to finish working on my paperwork for the county to show my students’ growth.  I need to finish compiling my research so that I can show my conclusions that I’ve had for the last month.  I need to email parents.  I need to call one parent.  I need to make my reservation for the hotel in New Jersey for the New York City trip this summer.  I need to schedule in my professional development workshop that will happen over the summer which will suck because the summer is my time not to be dragged in to school to do more professional development workshops.  But I have three, at least.  Three.  And this doesn’t include the professional development that I have to do during back-to-school-teacher-work-week.  Or the twelve hours that are done over the school year, generally during my planning period which keeps me from being able to grade which causes me to grade at home or stress about the fact that I am constantly behind on my grading which makes me anxious to the point that I….don’t sleep that well.

I’m tired.  I’m tired of being tired.  I’m tired of this endless cycle that happens at this point every year.  And I’m tired of the fact that I feel like I’m internally whining but since I’m blogging about it, even though all of this is in my digital voice, I am now digitally whining.  But I haven’t written in two days and I need to write because, if anything, this gives me a voice for a moment and it lets me practice my writing much like practicing the piano….

Literary scales, that’s what this is.  My writing is a different way of doing scales.  Because this is more of a vent/complaint, I guess I am writing in a minor key.

The lament of the tired mother, teacher, wife.  As performed by me….

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2 thoughts on “Dear Sleep,

  1. This is awesome. I empathize with it all. And I laughed out loud because I, too, had a bug bite on my foot in the night that I tried to scratch with my other foot (crazy coincidence). My students are learning about personification. Ahhhhhh….sleep. I just re-read this comment and it is very disjointed. Because I’m tired, too! Wonderful article.

    • Thank you for your comment!!!! I’m glad I’m not the only person who misses my favorite bed-fellow. Hopefully, with almost all of my grades done, I’ll be able to curl up and sleep the entire night! Rest well!

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