Monday, March 19, 2007

An Oasis in the Night

Street lights glared and shone with a harsh glow as I walked the city streets two hours past midnight this morning. Once again, I am having trouble sleeping. A good friend of mine with a mental illness is in the same dilemma as well. I guess we are kindred spirits these days. Great minds think alike I just thought facetiously. I kept thinking a good, long walk would make me grow sleepy and tired.
I sighed relieved when I checked my back pocket for my wallet finding it there fearing the officer would check my I.D. We live in such an overly sensitive and alert world after 9/11; very much akin to the government police state described in Orwell’s 1984.
2am found me standing in the all-night convenience store. I had scraped up enough pocket change from my car to buy a 20 oz Coca-cola. I am now officially broke until my next disability check arrives. Being penniless is an awkward feeling that I am not used to. I feel totally helpless with so little money to my name.

Monday mornings are a hard time for me as they start selling beer again at 2am. I thought of George as I stood in the back of that store surveying the beer offerings like one of Pavlov’s salivating dogs. I kept expecting him to walk in any moment to buy a case or a twelve pack and offer me one. It was good thing I only had a dollar and 35 cents in change in my pocket. That twelve pack of Steel Reserve high gravity lager just looked too tempting and I would have loved to have gotten completely sloshed drinking twelve of those high gravity brews. Luckily, I didn’t have the required $5.99 plus tax to buy it which was my saving grace. Too bad they don’t have after midnight A.A. meetings. A meeting would have been an oasis in the night.

I left the convenience store as I drank my Coca-cola on this cool morning. I walked up in front of that grand old abandoned cotton mill and sat down upon a bench in the little park out front. I put on the headphones of my little Sony radio and tuned the digital tuner to that station out of New Orleans. Art Bell was pontificating overly seriously about imagined ghosts and ghastlies that go boo in the night.

A lone police car came slowly driving by giving me a good and hard look. 2:30 am in the morning is an unusual time for a citizen to be up and out listening to a radio and drinking a Coca-cola in that little park in the dark. I know I looked suspicious. I sighed relieved when I checked my back pocket for my wallet finding it there fearing the officer would check my I.D. We live in such an overly sensitive and alert world after 9/11; very much akin to the government police state described in Orwell’s 1984.

I finally yawned sleepily as I pulled on my backpack after putting my little radio away. I trudged back down the sidewalk to complete the mile before reaching home. I locked my backdoor and crawled into the bed only to find myself once again staring at the ceiling in the dark, sleepless. Disgusted with myself, I once again turned on my bedside lamp, dressed, and sat in my den drinking hot tea and smoking cigars. Oh, how I wish I could find my oasis in the night; my own little secret place to crawl into, comforted, to go to sleep. Reality thought otherwise.

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The Gorgeous Debbie said...

Hey Andrew,

Hope you manage some decent sleep soon, as you are probably well aware - sleep deprivation makes even the simplest of days complicated - I wish you some Z's, my friend :o) Deb xoxoxo

austere said...

Horrid this sounds, no sleep.
Well I wish you some.

Is it safe to be walking about in the early hours of the morning like that? Certainly not for my city, but I guess in a small place everyone knows you so its sort of ok?

C.A. said...

Do you think it could have been the "caffeine soda" as my daughter so aptly calls it, that kept you from sleep when you returned home?

I suffer from sleep problems too, Andrew. I blame it on the medication, although I do take something to help me sleep. I wish we had the warm weather here year round so I could take a midnight walk as you do. It sounds peaceful.

Get a nap today if you can. :)


Cindi Ann

Cheryl said...

My insomnia was one of the things that led to the break-up of my marriage in that my ex had absolutely no empathy for what I was going through. He'd trivialize what was a living hell for me. Unless you've been through it, you have no idea. The lonliness is overwhelming in the middle of the night. Thankfully, I'm now just a bad sleeper, not an insomniac.

I hope you find some rest today.

Kathleen said...

Have a nap today, and then this evening, NO caffiene! Take Maggie with you on your walks, and have a hot cocoa with a cookie when you get back from your walk. Or heat up a can of chicken soup. Share it with Maggie.

Have a good day, Andrew.

mosiacmind said...

2:00 a.m. I found myself waking up from a couple of hours of sleep and stayed awake the rest of the night...not a good thing. I can also relate to the being broke issue too...trying to figure out if I have enough guts to ask my sister for some money or not. I hope that the rest of today is good for you.I have my appointment with Will this early afternoon and then my small group tonight...depending on how I am with all of this running on not hardly any sleep I may or might not go to it..........take care friend

MUD said...

About the age of 40 I hit the wall hard. I could not sleep and the more I could not sleep the more weird things got. I mentioned it to one of my friends and he said it was caffeine and to stop drinking anything that had caffeine after noon. I did just that and bingo I slept like a baby that night.
My dad had bi-polar issues and started drinking beer to self medicate. When he got up to a six pack a day he went to the Doctor and the Doctor told him that now he had two problems. Good Luck. MUD

Amanda said...

It helps me to stay away from the caffeine past a certain hour, and not to take any naps during the day.

But obviously some nights I'm going to toss and turn no matter what I do, and that includes drinking. Meaning, that when I'm really wired I'll stay up even if I drink.

That sucks and I'm sorry it's happening to you too...

Xtemom said...

Sorry you had another sleepless night Andrew. I am happy you avoided the beer even if it was just due to lack of funds...its just about noon now so here's hoping you are at the AA meeting you've mentioned going to before. As I ponder what to have for my lunch I am wondering what the special was/is at Rodgers today.

Hope you got a good nap at some point today

fiwa said...

I used to be able to sleep anywhere, any time. As I get older though, I notice I wake up in the night more and more.

Just a thought, I have heard that if you have trouble sleeping, you should not exercise in the evening, as it usually wakes you up and gets your juices flowing more than anything.

I cannot even imagine how hard it is for you to pass up the beer. Each time you do it, for whatever reason, don't think of it as a passive act, as in - I didn't buy it because I didn't have the money, think of it as an act of mastery over the beer. Does that sound weird? Think to yourself "I am stronger than the beer, I can walk away." And let yourself feel the power of that thought.

Boy, I'm long winded AND bossy today. :)

Hope you have a wonderful day Andrew.

d. chedwick bryant said...


Insomnia. hate it. Sleep. lovve it.

On Oreo Delight's blog he has a link to a site that tels you what effect a coca cola has on your system--it is pretty interesting. I still plan to drink colas tho.

His link is on my links list.

-Lo said...

I will have to email you and tell you what i do to find sleep when it dissapears...