I don’t like this scratchy, just missing the point, thousand yard stare feeling. I haven’t slept through a night in I don’t know when. It started a couple of years ago with having to get up to feed the wood stove it’s four a.m. diet of hickory and red oak. The hickory I try to save for outdoor cooking and firepits, but its ability to burn almost all night long trumps it’s savory smoke for ribeye steak and whole chicken. I would stumble to the stove, load it with its delicious fuel of taste and then stagger off to bed, usually with my eyes still closed.
Until I burned my foot. A glowing hot coal rolled, unbeknownst to be, out of the stove onto the mantle upon which it rests. I stepped on it. Have you ever had a hickory coal stuck between your toes at four in the morning? I didn’t scream, at least at loud, although my mind was a soundstation of mostly words that would send me straight to hell, if I didn’t feel like I was already there. My conundrum was this: What do I do with it? The coal, I mean, which was firmly imbedded between my first and second toe on my left foot, scorching me to no end. I’ve dealt with pain. Within my family and friends, I am a running joke for setting off alarms at airports, random surgeries to put rods back into place and arthritis in places that no person should have. But this was something huge. I plucked the still-burning ember from my foot, burning my hand in the process and threw it back into the stove. Great. Now I’m awake.
So began a trend of sleeplessness. Insomnia? I don’t really think so, just habit. My problem is that Ambian (I think the spelling is right here) hits me like a ton of bricks. I don’t just go to sleep, I go into a coma. I feel better the next day, but always with worried looks from my wife. “Did you know you made a pizza last night? It was delicious, but I don’t think you were awake.” Maybe it’s the pizza that makes me feel better, I’m not for sure. Maybe the Ambian. I do know one thing: I’ll be happy to sleep through a night.
But that is becoming less of an option as time passes. Nolan, the name that we have given our first child, is proving to be quite an actor. He responds to my voice and his mother’s actions. Vigorously. We may have our hands full when he is born, but I am going to be ready. Maybe this is training ground for the start of a new life – so that I am used to being without sleep.