FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Sleepless in America

by MISSY BEATTIE

“I’m going to move.”

“You’re going to move?”

“I should move.”

“Why should you move?”

“Where will I move?”

“Where will you move?”

“Am I serious?”

“Are you serious?”

This is the dialogue Frisbee-ing through my mind when I’m attempting sleep.  These are some of the thoughts and questions that twirl like a hula-hoop, hitting the interior of my skull until my head feels as if it’s moving with the motion already in motion.  Finally, finally, when the playground quiets to a couple of shudders from badminton shuttlecocks, I dream for a while and then awaken to a blaring alertness like someone’s taken a croquet mallet to my chest.  Occasionally, I chant a trail to a couple more hours of tranquility.

As I keyboard, my left eyelid twitches from fatigue and maybe stress.  I tell myself it’s similar to a wink and not unattractive.  Despite this involuntary spasm and those dark, sunken crescents underneath the lower lids, I go out to run through the Kingdom of Mixed Signals.  Have to exercise soon after drinking espresso. If I wait, I won’t.  Odd thing is that even when I’m sleep deprived, I seldom shut up and shut down to relax.

I am “one of the seven million Americans that have [sic] trouble sleeping and feel [sic] tired all day long.”  This is what Ann Williams told me (actually, she asked if I am one of the seven million) minutes ago when she spoke to me from the computer after I did a search for natural sleep remedies and found Somnapure.  I responded, telling her, despite the lack of sleep, I don’t “feel tired all day long.”  In fact, I drink from the drug mug, slap on some sunscreen, tie my running shoes, and take off, almost soaring.  Later, a little raggedness descends, but I don’t nap.  My body says no-no to napping.  Then, fast forward to night.  This is when the ready-to-rumble announcements begin.  The voices in my head that comprise team sports are breaking news of the weird and woeful: greed and Fukushima and shrimp without eyes and war and inhumanity, and what the future holds for our children.  Plus, my own small world of aloneness and what I’ve done with that—including some disturbing choices.   This leads to thoughts of escaping, moving, and angst-ing about where, when, and why.

Okay, I wrote the above and waited. To watch and examine hours walk by, so I could assess how tired I am after tending to my bedtime ablutions.  And my brain is ablaze as if someone’s striking matchsticks. I started to write: rubbing sticks of dynamite together, but it’s not that explosive. More like strobe lights.

I am one among seven million Americans who has trouble sleeping, but I don’t feel tired all day.  I am wide-awake when it’s time to approach the memory foam mattress.  I look at some of those words, turning them into memories foment.  And therein dwells a problem.

Missy Beattie lives in Baltimore.  Email:  missybeat@gmail.com  

Missy Beattie has written for National Public Radio and Nashville Life Magazine. She was an instructor of memoirs writing at Johns Hopkins’ Osher Lifelong Learning Institute in BaltimoreEmail: missybeat@gmail.com

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

Weekend Edition
May 26, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Anthony DiMaggio
Swamp Politics, Trump Style: “Russiagate” Diverts From the Real White House Scandals
Paul Street
It’s Not Gonna Be Okay: the Nauseating Nothingness of Neoliberal Capitalist and Professional Class Politics
Jeffrey St. Clair
The ICEmen Cometh
Ron Jacobs
The Deep State is the State
Pete Dolack
Why Pence Might be Even Worse Than Trump
Patrick Cockburn
We Know What Inspired the Manchester Attack, We Just Won’t Admit It
Thomas Powell
The Dirty Secret of the Korean War
Mark Ashwill
The Fat Lady Finally Sings: Bob Kerrey Quietly Resigns from Fulbright University Vietnam Leadership Position
John Davis
Beyond Hope
Uri Avnery
The Visitation: Trump in Israel
Ralph Nader
The Left/Right Challenge to the Failed “War on Drugs”
Traci Yoder
Free Speech on Campus: a Critical Analysis
Dave Lindorff
Beware the Supporter Scorned: Upstate New York Trump Voters Hit Hard in President’s Proposed 2018 Budget
Daniel Read
“Sickening Cowardice”: Now More Than Ever, Britain’s Theresa May Must be Held to Account on the Plight of Yemen’s Children
Ana Portnoy
Before the Gates: Puerto Rico’s First Bankruptcy Trial
M. Reza Behnam
Rethinking Iran’s Terrorism Designation
Brian Cloughley
Ukraine and the NATO Military Alliance
Josh Hoxie
Pain as a Policy Choice
David Macaray
Stephen Hawking Needs to Keep His Mouth Shut
Ramzy Baroud
Fear as an Obstacle to Peace: Why Are Israelis So Afraid?
Kathleen Wallace
The Bilious Incongruity of Trump’s Toilet
Seth Sandronsky
Temping Now
Alan Barber – Dean Baker
Blue Collar Blues: Manufacturing Falls in Indiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania in April
Jill Richardson
Saving America’s Great Places
Richard Lawless
Are Credit Rating Agencies America’s Secret Fifth Column?
Louis Proyect
Venezuela Reconsidered
Murray Dobbin
The NDP’s Singh and Ashton: Flash Versus Vision
Ron Leighton
Endarkenment: Postmodernism, Identity Politics, and the Attack on Free Speech
Anthony Papa
Drug War Victim: Oklahoma’s Larry Yarbrough to be Freed after 23 Years in Prison
Rev. John Dear
A Call to Mobilize the Nation Over the Next 18 Months
Yves Engler
Why Anti-Zionism and Anti-Jewish Prejudice Have to Do With Each Other
Ish Mishra
Political Underworld and Adventure Journalism
Binoy Kampmark
Roger Moore in Bondage
Rob Seimetz
Measuring Manhoods
Edward Curtin
Sorry, You’re Not Invited
Vern Loomis
Winning the Lottery is a State of Mind
Charles R. Larson
Review: Mary V. Dearborn’s “Ernest Hemingway”
David Yearsley
The Ethos of Mayfest
May 25, 2017
Jennifer Matsui
The Rise of the Alt-Center
Michael Hudson
Another Housing Bubble?
Robert Fisk
Trump Meets the New Leader of the Secular World, Pope Francis
John Laforge
Draft Treaty Banning Nuclear Weapons Unveiled
Benjamin Dangl
Trump’s Budget Expands War on the Backs of America’s Poor
Alice Donovan
US-Led Air Strikes Killed Record Number of Civilians in Syria
Andrew Moss
The Meaning of Trump’s Wall
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail