I'm having trouble sleeping. Actually, I've had trouble sleeping for as long as I can recall which, thanks to the 80s, isn't all that long. I love sleep, but she's a tease and often eludes me.
Even when I'm cradled in feathers with the blinds drawn, the alarm clock turned away from my eyes and the room perfumed with sleep-inducing lavender; even with a sleep mask on and under the influence of two sleeping pills and a Nyquil chaser ... I cannot manage to fall asleep and stay asleep. I wake up when I turn over, I wake up because I think I hear somebody calling my name and sometimes I just wake up for no discernible reason whatsoever.
Two nights ago, I didn't fall asleep until after 3:00 am. I turned over (12:00 am), closed my eyes and thought about maybe going to the Bay Area to visit my best friend. I turned back over and thought maybe he should come here. I flipped over on my back (1:23 am) and thought about what I'd wear tomorrow. Stuck my leg out from under the comforter and thought Why bother? You know it's gonna be yoga pants and a long sleeve shirt, again. I flip the clock around (2:49 am) and think, If you fall asleep right now, you can maybe get 3 1/2 hours of sleep but that would be fucking impossible because you're still thinking and you're not going to fall asleep right now. Damn It! Now I'm wide awake doing nighttime math and developing anti-sleep excel spreadsheets in my head. My mind presses down on the accelerator and takes off. How much should I give The Boy when his tooth finally falls out? Did Legal pre-set the coffee? Should I go downstairs and check? Do I moisturize enough? Where the fuck is Tiger?
So last night, after nearly pissing myself watching Chelsea Lately's Bloopers show, I make my way to bed exhausted and ready for the Sandman. It's just after midnight and the pillows are perfect and I'm not too hot or cold and I feel myself drifting off ... off ... and o f f . . .
"PUT YOUR HANDS ON THE CAR!!"
Huh? My eyes pop open, I prop myself up on one elbow and wonder if I'm having audio hallucinations (again).
"PUT YOUR HANDS ON THE CAR, NOW!!"
Those words and that tone are unmistakable. It's the fucking police. I creep over to the window to see some fool in shorts (it's 18 degrees outside) assuming the position over my neighbor's car. Miss Perceived's mother's car to be exact. And the cops are undercover cops, sporting long goatees, Dickies and flannel shirts buttoned just at the neck. They're good. Even I'd buy drugs off these guys, you know, if I were
still into that kind of thing.
Then comes the squad cars and an ambulance and suddenly, my quiet street is awash in red and blue flashing lights. The spotlight of police-issued flashlights bounce off walls and windows and fuck it, I'm never gonna get to sleep because clearly this idiot tossed his stash. And the only person who could actually find a bag of meth shards in the snow in the dead of night is the junkie that tossed it. Unless he gets distracted by something shiny or Home Depot opens it's doors early with a two-for-one sale on mapp gas. So this arrest is going to take awhile.
The cops raise their voices a little and laugh at this kid (man?). My stomach immediately turns into something tight and tries to make it's way up my esophagus. My heartbeat does a giddyup and my hands are wet. This happens every time I'm around any sort of police activity. Too many years spent refilling my keg cup in the school parking lot? Too many times trying to take a hit from behind a sand dune? Too many unsafe lane change tickets? Whatever the reason, the presence of the police makes me nervous and anxious. I feel rank with guilt over something, anything and nothing.
I'm in bed (1:26 am) staring at the ceiling and wondering if Miss Perceived knows that some stranger is being arrested in front of her house. I feel my mind inching toward the accelerator (please, not tonight). What if the police don't find his baggy and a kid does? What if my kid does? Did Legal pre-set the coffee? Should I go downstairs and look? Does The Boy need a bagged lunch tomorrow or is it pizza day at school? If I fall asleep right now ...