Confessions of an insomaniac

It’s the wee small hours of the morning and my insomnia has kicked in again. In spades. Through the wall behind my computer The Spouse is contendedly crunching out zeds, in sole possession of our vast waterbed and totally oblivious of my envy. “The dead,” murmurs The Sage, “never envy the living one half so much as the sleepless the sleeping.”

Damn. I didn’t know he was up and about at these ungodly hours—but methinks he might have a good point. Or not, whatever, I’m in no hurry to find out.

Is there any specific cure for insomnia, other than sleep? I think in my case it’s an overactive social conscience coupled with fury—all the more furious for my perceived political impotence. Hell hath no sleepless like a man motivated by incapable. For now … the mind never sleeps, so maybe a hot coffee might help—oops, belay that. Silly me.

“Maybe a wee tincture instead?”

He’s a trier, I’ll give him that. But no, I’d wake up about ten to a pair of accusing brown eyes staring at me reproachfully. She can get a lot of expression into those hazel flecks. Hold the rum.

“Getting old, are we?”

Sadly, he might be right. There was a time I could live all night and still turn to in the morning with a good day’s work and none the wiser. Not now. It was a different world then … I swear the skies were bluer, cool days crisper, the sun brighter as it struck diamonds from the wake billowing hugely under our stern as we worked up through thirty knots. Our speed made no difference to the huge albatrosses hanging serenely under feathery arms, just out of reach, regarding us with smiling eyes before peeling away in a glorious display of mastery of flight.

I could try going back to bed but give the thought away at birth. When in hyper-insomnia mode I toss and turn, spinning like a rotisserie chicken and almost tidal-waving the Spouse out of our non-waveless huge waterbed. So I get up and come to my computer to give her a chance—no point in both of us suffering my affliction.

From the other side of the room I hear the squeak of a cork being eased from the crock followed by a too loud POP then genteel gurgling noises; some of us have no qualms—thankfully he’s drinking from the crock itself so I shan’t have to explain a dirty glass in the morning. Anyway at last I’m almost beginning to feel sleepy enough to try again—

“What on earth are you doing up at this ungodly hour?”

I swallow my reflexive “Eek!” and don’t bother answering. She’d never believe me anyway.

She comes closer, blinking in the light, oblivious of The Sage sneaking quietly out behind her back and abandoning me to my fate. Thank heavens he thought to recork the crock but the aroma of Pussers Blue Label hangs in the air, a silent confirmation of the worst of her fears: Hubby’s a closet alcoholic.

In desperation I grab her, pull her close and clamp on an ‘A’ grade lip-lock. It works. Her knees buckle as always but now, thankfully, she knows I’ve not been drinking.

And there’s more than one way to fight insomnia.


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