Night noise, mellow morn


I threw the covers off and hit Mark with them. “Ouch!” he squirmed. I was upset and hurrying to crawl across him to leave the bedroom. It was an accident that I bumped him, or was it? My misery wanted his company. How could he be sleeping so calmly when there was so much worrying me?

Once in awhile I have a night when I wake and one small problem nags me enough to seem much heavier than it is. The fact that it keeps me from going back to sleep makes it loom even larger.

Every other thing that is wrong comes to the surface of my thinking and I can’t sleep. My mind goes into overdrive and I can’t sleep. The gears keep spinning and I can’t sleep. The cogs get caught up in each other and I can’t sleep. It all seems more complicated than it really is and I can’t sleep. Nothing seems to make sense and I can’t sleep.

After tossing and turning, half an hour becomes an hour so that I have to get up and do something. I remember my mother telling me about this happening to her when the things that needed solving didn’t seem to have solutions. Trouble is, each year generates more gears that can turn, but they turn less smoothly and they often squeak.

I took a shower so my hair could start drying. Then I washed a few dishes that had been left by the kitchen sink. I sorted through some newspapers that needed to go to the recycling bin. I pulled out several weeks worth of colorful Sunday comics that I had missed, and stacked them in chronological order.

By then it was 6 a.m., so I sliced some strawberries on a bowl of generic Crispix, sugared it, made a cup of tea, added milk to the cereal, and took it all on a tray out on the deck. I felt the damp boards under my shorts as I sat down on the steps. A cardinal chirped his “pretty, pretty, pretty” call.

I read the comics, came to some that made me laugh out loud, and all the things that seemed so awful in the dark restlessness of my bedroom became smaller and more manageable. I thought about that trite, old line that says, “everything looks better in the morning.” It’s usually so true.


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