Wednesday, March 23, 2011

SLEEP


I can't count sheep -- I can't visualize them. I try to visual lights -- sort of create my own version of the "Northern Lights" -- see a red light, then a green, a yellow, but other thoughts creep in.

What? A chore I need to do ... Or names flutter across my mind -- friends who have temporarily disappeared. Gee, I haven't heard from Ann or Roberta ... alas, I have a memory for names, and Facebook friends with whom I've had intense exchanges, sooner or later disappear ...

It's a fact of life, I guess.

I check the clock. Note how many minutes have passed since I last checked it. Time moves very slowly when you are checking a clock.

I review choreography. (I used to rehearse the sequence of steps in "Still Point," a ballet that was created for me, that I performed more than 1000 times, I taught it to one of my dancers -- I didn't want to rehearse it anymore.) Currently, I review the sequence of steps in my daily performance of Vaughan Williams's "Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis." but gee -- it wakes me up. Often I'm ready to jump up, race downstairs to my studio, and do it.

I count creatively. I order myself in my mind. I like to use Shakespeare's -- "Sleep that knits up the raveled sleeve of care." Then I say "two," and repeat the Shakespeare, then "three," and repeat the Shakespeare phrase again. It's exhausting, very boring, mentally. I can keep going with this until around eighty-something, but then ...

Do I drift off to sleep? No, not unless I take a ____ ?
Benadryl, a/k/a diphenhydramine -- 25 to 75 mg?
Tylenlol )a/k.a acetaminophen -- 500 to 1500 mg?.
Vodka, 1 to 2 oz. with 2 oz. Orange juice?.
Unisom, a/k.a doxyalimine succinate, 25 mg?.
Or Melatonin, Cammomile Tea, Valerian, St. John's Wort?
L-triptophane, Ambian, Darvon, Elavil a/k/a amytriptyline?.

Nothing in the above list works consistently or reliably, Therefore, I count "chimpanzees." Each "chimpaNzee" takes about one second to pronounce.

Using chimpanzees, I put my toes to sleep, then my metatarsals, then my arches, then top of my arches, then my ankles, my Achilles tendon, the back of my legs -- muscle by muscle till I reach the calf -- I do lower, mid, and upper calf, then knees, then above the knees -- I rarely get much beyond them.

I drift -- not off to sleep -- instead, find myself remembering a mixture of things I ought to do blending with things I have done -- good things, bad things, so I go back to my toes. with chimpanzees or Shakespeare.

Often, I get up and head for the kitchen, gaze at some television show for awhile, thinking I should go back to work on my blog. I don't go back to work. I'm too tired. I head BACK to the bedroom and start with the toes again.

If you have any suggestions ...
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