October 17th, 2005

I Will Not Defame New Orleans.


Sleep has been an absent friend for many weeks. I feel as if my world has caved in (which is neither a figurative nor hyperbolic statement) and my busy little subconscious won't let me sleep until I personally have fixed everything in the world. Stupid, that. I've done what I could, which is a lot, and the plan was to wait it out while N.O. built itself back up enough for me to return home and be able to work. (Anyone know if cable internet is running in the Marigny/Bywater?)

These weeks since we snuck back into the city and rescued the cats and secured Clifford were supposed to be a relief. I remember thinking, days before that awful journey, and even during the odyssey itself, that once we were safely on the road to Pennsylvania with some vital objects and live kitties, that that would be reward enough for the weeks prior which were so inexpressably tortuous, and that I could finally breathe again. And it was a tremendous relief to find Clifford in relatively good standing, and three out of four cats alive and healthy, don't get me wrong. (Number Four is likely okay, but he wasn't within calling distance that hour we were home.)

But the relief I expected — that I counted on — never came.

Some nights I sleep five hours. A luxurious five hours.

Other nights, like Saturday — maybe one and a half.

There is a sleep deficit that is growing faster that G.W.'s abuse of our country's deficit. When will it catch up? When will I crash and burn? I don't see how I can live like I am. It's starting to — doooo thiiings — to my head. On particularly bad nights, like last night, it feels like fire ants are crawling around inside my skull. I don't mean this in a good way.

How long can one sleep one or two hours a night and not go insane, or is that enough to barely get by?

Oh, I'm tired all right. Constantly tired. Walking around in a daze, wanting nothing more than to lie down. But my eyes won't close, and lying down in a bed just mocks the fact that I can't sleep.

I set more goals. "Okay, when I finally get home, I'll be able to sleep! If I can just make it through another week." But will I? My last goal, of being in transit to Philly, turned out to be a wrong prophecy.

Perhaps when I get home, there will be so many tasks to accomplish at Clifford and in New Orleans that the same little demons won't let me sleep. "No, no. No lying down for you. Not while there's work to be done." Shut UP already!

Watching a movie at 7pm yesterday, my eyes were closing.

"Ben! I'm sleepy! I'm going to jump in bed and see what happens."

"Okay honey."

I woke up at 4am, but that's nine hours. Hey, nine hours! A bit of deficit payback!

Well, I'm up now. Guess I'll wander around until there are signs of life.