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Night Errors

March 7, 2017


Darkness should make us uneasy, but we mammals respond to it by becoming completely vulnerable: in sleep.

There are 3 times in life when night has nothing to do with sleep: infancy, when infants join us as their parents, and when the physical realities of age back us once again into infancy. And boredom.

Part of us thinks sleep “should” happen for us and our children: but for our wee ones, and us late in life, that “should” goes away. We just wake up. Of course peeing plays a part, but there seems to be a software failure.

Remember when our computers needed “defragging”? Overnight our 1997 Dells would silently reorganize data so that our HUGE 20 Megabyte hard drives could sort themselves into more efficient patterns and places of storage so that our state-of-the-art suitcase-sized boxes surmounted by 2ft deep monitors could give us flawless 100DPI images with only several minutes of loading?

Well, now our data can can frag to its heart’s content, as defragging seems unnecessary.

Our computers matured beyond the need for self-reformation. We want that to. I want to be whole, defragged and at peak performance. But age has left some of the need to sort and store out of my nights.

Instead, as REM ceases, I awake. To the silent darkness.

Last night I had no phone to distract and reward my awakening in the Forbidden Zone. The assumed dark dangers of night that our culture equates with bad behavior was just an innocent blank backdrop for for my mind.

Unless there are still no election results in Pennsylvania or the Yankees are playing in Seattle I have no reason to be up at 2am anymore.

In the 1970’s it used to be the closing time in the Dryden NY bars we went to after the Ithaca bars closed at 1am.

25 years ago it used to be when our youngest awoke in screams of fear at his night terrors.

Now the 2am times are just me, with myself and my breathing spouse, on the raft of our bed, in a sea of memory, thought and anything but dreams.

I think Lent can register that for me: not as something that “shouldn’t” happen, but just does: whether I like it or not: just another clear message that in the end, we control not-so much.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Jim E permalink
    March 7, 2017 8:27 am

    Both my best and my absolute worst thinking happens pretty much at 2 am. Never know which until I get there.


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