When I Can’t Sleep, The Night Comes Alive


I’m not sleepy; I’m just not sleepy.

It’s 2:30 in the morning, but I am the type of person who, if there is anything exciting going on — and I mean anything — I am too excited to sleep. I’ve been this way forever. My parents naturally thought I would grow out of it. They’re 85 now, and they’re still waiting. Me, too.

I do try, especially if Mark is nagging me. Tonight I brushed my teeth and went to bed at 11:30 p.m., but at 11:59, I popped up and ran into the next room to watch my new cuckoo clock cuc-koo 12 times and see if the little people marched around the balcony like they were supposed to. It did. They did. Very satisfying.

I got back into bed, but at 1 a.m., I decided to visit the bathroom. I didn’t have to go; I was just bored. I changed the roll and put out a new towel for the morning, and felt I had accomplished something.

At 1:15 a.m., I ate a few saltines. I’m trying to eat fewer potato chips, so crackers seemed like a good, healthy substitute. The fact that they tasted good means they’re not.

Then I had to brush my teeth again, of course. And rinse out the sink. And wring out the rag. And hang it up to dry. And Windex the mirror. So that’s done.


Yes, I know I have to work in the morning! Quit nagging me! (Mark is sound asleep, of course, but he doesn’t have to be awake to nag me.)

Mark once told me that when he can’t sleep, he plays all the holes at Augusta National in his head. That would bore anyone to sleep, especially us lousy golfers. So I rearrange all the rooms of my house in my head. Or redesign my store. Or plan my days for the next three months. All those things backfire because then I can’t wait to get started.

It is so flippin’ dark outside. I’d go for a walk, but women wandering around after dark in their pajamas is discouraged around here. In the daytime, you can go to the deli in your PJ bottoms and a tank top, but after dark? No. You’d think PJs at night would cause less of a commotion, not more. The world is a crazy place.

In desperation born of total and complete boredom, I reviewed my bills then tried to decide whether to switch credit card companies. That didn’t work, either. I got too riled up. Why is everything so expensive? Why would I want to change all my online credit info? Why is there so much red tape in the world? Why, why, why?

OK, maybe I’ll visit the bathroom again. Looks nice in there. Smells fresh, ready for morning.

Well, morning is now only three hours away. Speaking of which, you know a real good cure for sleeplessness? Yup — morning. Once I’m asleep, there’s nothing I hate more than morning. Mark will have to drag me out of bed by one foot tomorrow. He’ll be lecturing his head off. But I’ll be dead to the world.

And I won’t really perk up until about, oh, midnight — when things start to get exciting.