Tuesday, September 06, 2005


Oh my lord I wish I was an un-insomniac, one of those lucky people who only have to say "Goodni---" and they're already fast asleep before their heads have even made a dent in the pillow.

Instead sleep and I have a very fraught relationship; kind of like Brad and Jennifer. Once we were very close, soul-mates who spent quality time together and got along like a house on fire, but now we are completely estranged and wonder just what the hell we had in common in the first place.

Love Chunks isn't the one to blame for my predicament either. Whilst his snoring can often equal the decibel count of a walrus snorting up a penguin, when he's banished to the spare bed and I'm still awake it's no longer his damn fault, damn it.

Maybe it's the pillows. Too flat, too hot (so flip them over, I hear you say - and I do, so often they might as well be set on rollers), too high, too hard, too soft.... The quilt - too cold, too fluffy or LC's hogging too much of it... The room? Too bright, too dark, too creaky. The local hoons who seem to choose our end of the street to do their black tyre skid mark signatures and burn outs? Who the hell knows.

Well, I do know, actually. It's my stupid, over-loaded-with-useless-pop-culture brain. It's a well known fact that human beings are estimated to only be capable of using ten percent of their brain capacity during their lifetimes, but did the lab coats who worked that out consider the insomniac suffers amongst us?

For us, a further 40% of the brain is worn out but unfortunately not in a useful way. Instead, we lie awake with our eyes squeezed shut, trying to approximate the state of relaxation when in reality our bodies are completely rigid as we try to block out inane ditties such as the Wiggles' song 'Wobbly Wobbly Wobbly Dance.'

My daughter hasn't played that video for three years yet it's that song that decides to lodge itself in my head and replay itself over and over and over. Even when I try to change the subject and imagine that I'm lying in my childhood bedroom, trying to remember where all the furniture was and what toys I had, the song creeps in: "Wobbly Wobbly Wobbly dance", so that I actually, genuinely want to be having a nightmare but one where I'm the bad guy: kicking over Anthony the blue one's fake drum set, smashing Murray the red one's guitar, violently shaking Jeff awake and giving that smug yellow one Greg a good hard kick in the goolies.

Ah, that's better. I'm here lying on my hot pillow, under the scratchy quilt, biting uncomfortably down on my mouthguard as though it's a chunk of wood in my teeth and I'm getting a bullet yanked out of my leg by John Wayne but at least I'm smiling now. The Wiggles are gone from my brain, no doubt being taken to the emergency ward by Dorothy the dinosaur with Henry the Octopus driving and Captain Feathersword seeking legal counsel.

"Dorothy! Dorothy! Would you like to dance with me?" Aurrrrrrgh! At least give me a song I actually like. Focus, stupid, focus. Try to think of a 'Nebraska' or 'Ghost of Tom Joad' Springsteen to give you a big enough downer to numb you for sleep. Nooooo, now is not the time to be wondering just what toys you have in the cupboard for childrens' birthdays - Savier will be getting a bendy Spiderman like all of the other boys' parties that your six year old daughter gets invited to. Oh dear god - do I really need to try to figure out where sesame seeds come from tonight?

A trip to the loo might do the trick, perhaps that's all the problem really is. An empty bladder might equal an empty mind. Now walk s-l-o-w-l-y through the house, keep the eyes shut so that your body thinks it's asleep, that's right, well done. Grope your way carefully along the walls into the laundry------Geez, it's freezing in here! Yes, OK, it is, but try not to hop along the tiles like a tourist on hot beach sand and do what you need to do in the little room here. Yes, it is annoying that your house's only toilet is located as geographically far from your room as it's possible to be. Hey hey hey - don't you dare start focussing your mind on what home improvements you'd make if you won enough lotto money to start renovating - flush that toilet and wash your hands------S**t that water's so cold it's made my hands ache-----Come on, come on, stick with the program and float serenely back to bed.

Oh who the hell am I kidding? I might as well stay awake and see what Benny Hinn's got to say to his devoted flock today. Maybe not. Get down Milly, you're scratching my legs with your claws. No, it's not time for a run or walkies just yet, can't you see that from the silent yet deadly glare from my road-map like red eyes? "Get down!" I say in my most furious whisper.

Ker-thwack - oooh, that must be the paper landing in the driveway. At least his aim's improving, unless he deliberately lodges it right under the rose bush. Might as well sneak outside via the backdoor and pick it up. (Shading eyes) Whoah, at least I know that the detector lights work effectively.

Hmmm, might as well give in to the obvious and have a look in the fridge. Mmmm, donuts and my favourite ones, the sticky icky pink ones that contain absolutely nothing of organic nature or nutritional value. And chocolate.....what a shame that three rows snapped off instead of one. No point in putting them back, is there? There's a Farmers Union Feel Good iced coffee that's calling my name - if anyone needs to 'feel good' it's me!

Alrighty then. I've given up the idea of visiting the Land of Nod, so I might as well enjoy myself and suffer the grumps later on this afternoon. Slip on a DVD, something featuring John Cusack, lie back on the lounge and give Milly a good cuddle. Mind you don't get any of that pink icing on her ears or the cushions! Life isn't too bad after all. Even if I do get irritable today, no-one will notice anything unusual. I just remembered - if we only use ten percent of our brains, and I reckon that insomniacs use another 40% at night on useless thoughts, then what is the remaining fifty percent used for..........

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