Do the Eskimos' faces shine? I lie in bed alert: I am with the Eskimos on the tundra who are running after the click-footed caribou, running sleepless and dazed for days, running spread out to scraggling lines across the glacier-ground hummocks and reindeer moss, in sight of the ocean, under the long-shadowed pale sun, running silent all night long.
Dillard lies awake at night, thinking about Eskimos hunting caribou on the tundra. By the ocean. Under the midnight sun. Running and running. There's not a whole lot of sleeping going on with that running through her head all the time.
I have suffered from insomnia most of my life. I'm fine for long periods of time, and then I simply can't fall asleep. I'm tired. I put my head on the pillow, and WHAM! I'm thinking about work or blogging or reading a good book or the zombie apocalypse. I've been lucky for a while now. Of course, I stay awake until midnight and get up at around 4:45 a.m. every day. I keep myself on the brink of exhaustion to combat sleeplessness.
Today was a really long day. The last work day before vacation always, ALWAYS drags on. Plus, I didn't buy any pop this morning. By about one o'clock, my head was the size of a beluga whale, and I thought I was going to puke. It was bad. I thought that I was coming down with the flu or something. Then, after I dragged myself out to my car and drove home, I drank a Diet Coke. Instant cure. The headache disappeared, and my appetite returned.
I'm going to try to get to bed a little earlier tonight. Maybe by 11:30 p.m. The only thing that's going to be on television is Donald Trump's acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention. If I watch that, I may never sleep again. Nightmares of orange-headed trolls taking over the universe.
Tomorrow morning, we head downstate for a mini-vacation. Four days at the Boyne Mountain Resort. Pools. Water slides. Chair lifts. Campfires and s'mores. Maybe a magician or juggler. For me, it means no work. Sleeping in. Showers every day. And escape. From trolls and students and everyday responsibility. By this time tomorrow night, I'll be reading a good book on a veranda, sipping a wine cooler. If I sound like Scarlett O'Hara, so be it. (In actuality, by this time tomorrow night, I'll probably be chasing my son up and down a bunch of water slides and praying that he gets a tiny charlie horse, just to slow him down.)
Four days. Ninety-six hours. 5,760 minutes. 345,600 seconds.
Saint Marty is going to sleep very well tonight.