Write more, get some sleep and please don’t drink Pepsi

Most nights I find myself in a staring contest with the ceiling fan. I try and count every circular motion. My eyes can never keep up. I can remember each and every time how it feels to fail at this. I am always sure I have lost count before.

The hours tick by, they roll over like tumbling dice. The television watches me fall asleep. The bathroom door is ajar; the lights – switched on. I hear a muffled sound, and I look around, in vain, for the source – like a confused mongrel. Right then, a well-dressed man screams on television, asking me to please drink Pepsi and be happy like I am supposed to.

Spotted Owlet, Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary

I know better though. I know things. I read stuff. I have 3G. TED talks to me too. In fact, things will be fine if I can just find a way to get some sleep. So I eye the books stacked up in a pile by the dressing table. I look at them, lovingly, but I don’t reach out to them. Where once, in-between these sun-burnt pages, resided many an escape route now rots a slew of bitter truths that I want nothing to do with.

I toss and turn on the bed, looking for precious sleep.

Spotted Owlet, Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary

Then, I smell something burning. I wonder if it is the security guard outside, starting a fire to keep away the mosquitoes. Maybe I have a fever. Perhaps the sofa in the hall is on fire. Now I panic a little. I wish I had a Pepsi in my hand.

Begrudgingly, I squeeze my eyes shut, seeking blankness and for some reason – noticing that the room smells like butter. The air inside tastes like iron rust. As I begin to arrive at strange conclusions, out they come – in motley crews, the bloodthirsty mosquitoes. I often make mountains out of molehills when I run out of meaningful things to feel insecure, sad or angry about. Not today though. I don’t mind the mosquitoes drawing a little blood. Not at all.

I know it’s a good day when there are only mosquito bites to complain about. I also know it’s going to be a while for the morning to distract me.

How I ache for her moaning sounds – a garbled and beautiful mess of dew-scented melodies.

Hours go by, and still – no luck. No chance of sleep. No possibility of light. Nothing. Only the strange, muffled sound seems to be getting louder.

I get off the bed and saunter towards the door, hoping that an alien abduction is in progress. Much to my dismay, I trace its source to the engine room in the building next door. It wasn’t even a mystery, much less an opportunity for intergalactic travel. I am still here, swaddled in-between clean sheets, begging the night to deliver me. I promise to spill my secrets. Succumb to its depths. Find myself, dazed but without disaster, in its sweet, sick embrace.

I just want to sleep, counting last year’s rain. I wish I can close my eyes, reciting lyrics to soundtracks of summers gone by, drifting into starless skies.

Un-break me, beloved, thankless and unmerciful night. Un-wound me.

If I have to, I will strip my soul bare, right down to its dirtiest linen and dare the sun to put me to bed. Like my friend, Eyewin – a Spotted Owlet in Vedanthangal – I will nap when everyone else is wide awake.

Spotted Owlet, Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary

Please don’t ruffle our feathers.

All we need is some sleep.

(Photographs – Vedanthangal)

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46 comments

  1. and then you are drawn to the internet ocean and the need to go blog surfing in search of other word starved insomniacs and some time later discover a mindless peace that passes for sleep…

    Liked by 2 people

  2. ‘Linear velocity of fan blades.’ How I know it. Some days I curse that we are thinking, reasoning beings. It would be easier to just be a butterfly whose purpose is simply to drift from flower to flower, drinking nectar, soaring on the breeze, and occasionally laying an egg. To just. Be. That.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. There have been a few times when I toss around because there is something in my head. And until I can put it somewhere — either on paper or in a digital form — I just keep feeling restless. But after committing thoughts to written words, it feels nice, I dare say, even peaceful.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I was going to write something connecting butterflies to sleeplessness, and as I read down the comments, I realize I already had! That’s just weird.

    As I age, sleep comes to me in two stretches, one evening nap and an early morning nap sandwiching a stretch of alert questioning and pondering. The Mister has it worse. He actually gets up and studies math for several hours before having a ‘little nap’ before going into work for the day. I don’t know how he doesn’t splat audibly into a puddle of drool at some important meeting (I would).

    ‘Regurgitating the peace.’ It is exactly why I will sit in a most uncomfortable position while I shut my eyes for a couple of minutes. It keeps me from crashing into a deep sleep, hence making me the Wicked Bitch of the West for the remainder of the day (my family reminds me of this). I don’t do naps. But I do love to lay on my swing and listen to the birdies in the middle of the day, drifting off just long enough to hit that reset button. Even better when one my kids is laying on me, making a limb fall to sleep as well.

    Nope. Don’t want to get too comfortable. Cheers to sleepless nights and new friends, and thoughtful blog posts to bridge the two. πŸ˜€

    Liked by 2 people

    1. What a fantastic stream of consciousness, dear Shannon! Lemon tea reverse snort-worthy quips about the Mister and Wickedness hehehe I like your twinfold napping sessions, ideally at my age it should have happened. Still though, I just can’t seem to find peace in day-sleep.

      Cheers to peach trees, and iridescent conversations!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. You capture brilliantly the frustration and flow of thoughts that come with the inability to sleep. I think my favorite part: “Begrudgingly you squeeze your eyes shut, seeking blankness. But now the room smells like butter.” That just so sums it up. The mind and senses seeking something, anything. The aroma of butter, but is it butter? Is it just an auditory hallucination? If so, should one be worried that one is having an auditory hallucination? What else smells like butter?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you ET. Auditory hallucination sounds perfect, that’s exactly what it is. Butter is but a fleeting thought process.

      I always smell it when I feel troubled.I am pretty sure it’s because a TV version of Hansel and Gretel had me terrified as a kid. It was when the the siblings saw the witch apply butter to the distinctly-proportioned child before shoving him into the oven. Scars, I tell you. Such jerks.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. A lovely read.. Specially this last line.. “The birds follow routines because they add to the balance of their environments. We do so because it is convenient ” so very true and meaningful and great clicks.. πŸ‘Œ

    Liked by 1 person

  7. beautiful read all through… I find myself staring at the carefree sleep of the owlet again n again…. how adorable ….the poses and the radiating innocence…. you have captured it all so well …. the photographs, the thoughts and your words!!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Love this post! Did you post this just to get me to write a third musing on the matter? Assuming you did, you should know that I still can’t seem to get through an entire night without 2-3 hours in between! It’s become my reading time, a book called ‘Paradise Found’ about the history of nature in America the last 500 years. It’s pretty sad…don’t know why I’m so gripped to it. It’s like trying to turn away when a train is about to hit a car. You just can’t help but look!!

    PS – Going to first TKD tourney the weekend after. Gonna be sparring with strangers for the first time with an orange belt…hoping I don’t get my butt kicked. I think that’s what’s waking me up. πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awww thanks Shannon! And yes, anything to get you to write about kicking butt hehe. Do write in detail about apologising to strangers’ kids. Tell them their mommy and daddy learnt a valuable lesson from the business end of a Shannon spin kick (giggles)

      Liked by 1 person

  9. 2 AM

    The early black
    Is still unstirred
    By yawning morning.
    The ceiling fills
    With predatory thoughts,
    Like quiet children
    Come to play
    Their silent games,
    Poking sticks into
    Dark passages
    Of forgotten memories;
    Memories like frightened mice
    That scurry off in panic.
    The sadly moaning bell
    Sixty years ago on a lonely buoy
    Shrugging its shoulders
    In a choppy sea.
    A special purple
    Strangely found on both
    An apron and a stub of clay
    In kindergarten.
    The round eyed stare
    Frozen to my mother’s face
    As cancer pain
    Prodded her to certain death.
    A pet white rat curled in snooze

    On my pillow by my cheek.
    The falling crescent moon
    Smiles in my window
    Like my long gone mother
    Soothing me
    Back to the peace of sleep.

    Liked by 3 people

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