Tired tonight. Bones are weary. Just can’t seem to get to sleep. Most nights I sleep like a baby, but not tonight. So, what do you do?
I lay in bed and try to sleep, which just causes my body to rebel and take off like a rocket. I get up and read. That just bores me. My eyelids feel like they are riveted to my forehead. Strange visual, I know, but, oh, so true.
I still try to force my self to sleep, which drives me even more insane. I toss and turn, thinking the position matters. It don’t. I try to engage in relaxation exercises by slowing down my breathing. I just breathe faster. I try to meditate. You know, clear the mind: Ooooooome. That just drives me deeper into the loony bin..
I think about watching television but that idea revolts me. TV is pretty crappy nowadays, especially late at night. Decades ago I used to stay up all hours in the morning, drinking a bit too much, and watching late night, early morning TV. This was a time when television actually signed off for the day and that strange alien-like symbol would come on the screen and buzz.
The late-night movies were usually sponsored by a car dealer. When I was roaming the streets of Northern California there was this guy selling cars, I think his name was Jay something. He was selling Dodges, I believe, and his demeanor was calm, cool and collected. I even wrote a very bad one-man show and incorporated Jay into the show.
Really, the show was really bad. My father, who knew something about theater having been a successful actor in his day, said the show I did was “incredible because I had the guts to do it.”
Sleep didn’t come easy in those days either. Well, it did sometimes because of the drinking. Don’t get excited. I haven’t had any alcohol for three-and-half decades. But there was a time I did use it to sleep. But that was a long time ago.
Now, today, tonight, what do you or I do? I walk. That’s right I walk for as long as it takes to get the back of my knees to finally relax. I walk around my bedroom. Sometimes I walk outside. Sometimes on my treadmill in my garage. And sometimes I walk around my living room, into my study and through the kitchen. I do this for as long as it takes. Then, thank God, sleep does come; gently, quietly and peacefully. Sleep comes, and I say “thank you” the next morning.
There is nothing finer that to close your eyes at night only to open them hours later as the sun creeps in through the window. There is nothing finer. I am going to try now to go to sleep. If I fail yet again, I always have the walk.