Sleep

For a while now, I have not been able to sleep well. It’s not insomnia per se, but rather a merry-go-round of worries that begins to spin slowly as soon as I close my eyes. I’m not sure what has occasioned this. Aging, perhaps, and the realization that the things I want most have not happened yet, and may never happen. Part of the problem is that, like most writers, I have a fairly fertile imagination. I think in images, with Technicolor and SurroundSound. I have a knack for details, so the images parading through my head can be disturbingly graphic. Lately, I’ve been focusing on What Will Happen Next, which is one very big question mark.
Back in the last millennium, when Jack Daniels Black was my best friend and I was working downtown, I had come to the conclusion that I would soon be homeless. Everything pointed to this sad future. My job was endangered, and my liver, according to a doctor, had taken on the look, feel, and usefulness of an Idaho baking potato. I had constant panic attacks. I shook so badly that I was unable to write checks or sign my name. I did not sleep—I sedated myself for several hours and woke with thunderous headaches and tears in my eyes. Things did not look good for a healthy and happy future, and so I decided to find a place where I could be homeless.
This turned out to be in an alley near work. A delivery door had been bricked up decades before, and the recess in the wall was just deep enough to house a large cardboard box. In the insanity my life had become, it made perfect sense for me to eventually move there when everything went to hell, as I knew it would.
It didn’t. I straightened out and over the years got my act more or less together.
I mention all this simply because the homeless fear has returned, as have the panic attacks, thankfully to a lesser extent. Neither helps me sleep. The truth is that I will most definitely not be homeless. I will sell my house and move elsewhere, most probably in the immediate area as this is where my friends and my life are. I toyed with the idea of moving back to France, but the reality of the Euro/Dollar exchange rate precludes this, unless I were willing to live in a cave in Belgium, which I am not. (There are, by the way, such living accommodations. You can rent them, furnished, for a tidy sum. There are also German bunkers left over from World War II, and barges on most rivers.)
The realization that I will indeed be moving has me in mini-frenzy. The accumulation of stuff, to use George Carlin’s word, is frightening. My present house, though small, is chock full of a lifetime’s mementos. There’s stuff from Asia and Africa and Europe. There’s clothing from when I was thinner and from when I was fatter. There are three bicycles, none of which have been ridden in decades. There are two cars and an electric lawnmower and musical instruments and antique dishes inherited from my mother. There are 1000 CDs, and DVDs, and computer stuff, and there are things in the attic, but I don’t remember what they are. There may be a drum set up there.
When I moved into my house more than 25 years ago I did so in a single rented van that was only half-full. Now that I am planning to move out, I’m looking at a Mayflower truck with young men doing the heavy lifting.
The last time I moved was when I got divorced. I wasn’t sleeping well then either.

About epiphanettes

Writer, songcrafter, possibly the best French pedal steel guitarist in Virginia.
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