I was in bed with the lights off by 9pm last night. I awoke at the sun's bright tolling of 7am. There is a super-boring story as to what happened between those hours, and yet it is all that I have to tell.
Most nights - not all - I need some sort of relaxant to prepare myself for sleep. Otherwise, I very quickly develop sleep anxiety and will toss and turn for hours, so wound up with mind racing that I feel as a jack-in-the-box that never quite pops. There is the strangest Dutch carnival music that plays though my mind, at all hours, like the breaking of musical springs. The shattering of musical, metal bells.
I close my eyes and see myself down the avenues, running with the midgets in Pamplona, all of it.
It is the curse of diminishment - the less time left in the night the faster the upwards spiral of anxiety, as if the inward voice is organizing to protest against the non-arrival of something.
There is Xanax, NyQuil, Ambien, melatonin, wine, chamomile tea, pot butter, and of course whiskey to help calm me down, but they each exact their toll. To sleep I narcoticize myself, but I wish to avoid habituation, so I wander from one method to another. I fear that I may have become acclimated to a sleeping process, instead of a substance, though in that I am not alone.
I am most content when I fall asleep without the drowning assistance of the pharmacist, but writing that lends a tremor move through me. In fear of the ghosts of restlessness. A lifetime supply of opium would solve my modest problems, yet no game shows offer this simple prize as a prize.
When friends learn of my condition they try to convince me that natural sleep aids are much better. They don't work, I've tried them - valerian root, magnesium, kava, all of that stuff. What few of those closest to the center of my sleeplessness seem to believe is that deprivation is far more unsettling to me, and far more likely to break loose some of the stalactites of my neuroses, than would be the recurring and moderated intake of the other stuff.
After dosing through all of that, I awoke rested and fat.