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:
May 24, 2016
Sharmini Peries - Michael Hudson
The Financial Invasion of Greece
Jonathan Cook
Religious Zealots Ready for Takeover of Israeli Army
Ted Rall
Why I Am #NeverHillary
Mari Jo Buhle – Paul Buhle
Television Meets History
Robert Hunziker
Troika Heat-Seeking Missile Destroys Greece
Judy Gumbo
May Day Road Trip: 1968 – 2016
Colin Todhunter
Cheerleader for US Aggression, Pushing the World to the Nuclear Brink
Jeremy Brecher
This is What Insurgency Looks Like
Jonathan Latham
Unsafe at Any Dose: Chemical Safety Failures from DDT to Glyphosate to BPA
Binoy Kampmark
Suing Russia: Litigating over MH17
Dave Lindorff
Europe, the US and the Politics of Pissing and Being Pissed
Matt Peppe
Cashing In at the Race Track While Facing Charges of “Abusive” Lending Practices
Gilbert Mercier
If Bernie Sanders Is Real, He Will Run as an Independent
Peter Bohmer
A Year Later! The Struggle for Justice Continues!
Dave Welsh
Police Chief Fired in Victory for the Frisco 500
May 23, 2016
Conn Hallinan
European Union: a House Divided
Paul Buhle
Labor’s Sell-Out and the Sanders Campaign
Uri Avnery
Israeli Weimar: It Can Happen Here
John Stauber
Why Bernie was Busted From the Beginning
James Bovard
Obama’s Biggest Corruption Charade
Joseph Mangano – Janette D. Sherman
Indian Point Nuclear Plant: It Doesn’t Take a Meltdown to Harm Local Residents
Desiree Hellegers
“Energy Without Injury”: From Redwood Summer to Break Free via Occupy Wall Street
Lawrence Davidson
The Unraveling of Zionism?
Patrick Cockburn
Why Visa Waivers are Dangerous for Turks
Robert Koehler
Rethinking Criminal Justice
Lawrence Wittner
The Return of Democratic Socialism
Ha-Joon Chang
What Britain Forgot: Making Things Matters
John V. Walsh
Only Donald Trump Raises Five “Fundamental and Urgent” Foreign Policy Questions: Stephen F. Cohen Bemoans MSM’s Dismissal of Trump’s Queries
Andrew Stewart
The Occupation of the American Mind: a Film That Palestinians Deserve
Nyla Ali Khan
The Vulnerable Repositories of Honor in Kashmir
Weekend Edition
May 20, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Rob Urie
Hillary Clinton and Political Violence
Andrew Levine
Why Not Hillary?
Paul Street
Hillary Clinton’s Neocon Resumé
Chris Floyd
Twilight of the Grifter: Bill Clinton’s Fading Powers
Eric Mann
How We Got the Tanks and M-16s Out of LA Schools
Jason Hirthler
The West’s Needless Aggression
Dan Arel
Why Hillary Clinton’s Camp Should Be Scared
Robert Hunziker
Fukushima Flunks Decontamination
David Rosen
The Privatization of the Public Sphere
Margaret Kimberley
Obama’s Civil Rights Hypocrisy
Chris Gilbert
Corruption in Latin American Governments
Pete Dolack
We Can Dream, or We Can Organize
Dan Kovalik
Colombia: the Displaced & Invisible Nation
Jeffrey St. Clair
Fat Man Earrings: a Nuclear Parable
Medea Benjamin
Israel and Saudi Arabia: Strange Bedfellows in the New Middle East
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail