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Maddening slumber

OPINION by Harry Porter | October 3, 2021 at 4:00 a.m.

Sleep is a fickle mistress, often right at our fingertips but sometimes so far out of our reach it seems like a universe away. One night you and she are in harmony, like a couple who dance together effortlessly appearing to float. However, the next night you resemble a couple who divorced decades ago and have lost touch with each other completely.

There are times when Sleep brings with her the sweetest dreams of peace, tranquillity and humor. These nighttime visions inspire us and make us want to bound out of the bed at dawn's first light and tackle the day with a vim and vigor previously reserved for a championship calling.

But there are times that the Diva of Dozing visits us with nightmares so terrifying that we still recall them, in great detail, decades later. Sleep conjures up the most horrible beasts, creatures, ghouls and tormentors the world has ever seen. We awaken in a cold sweat with our hearts racing. These visions in the darkness cause us to drag ourselves out of bed with the tired trudging of the condemned.

How is it that we crave Sleep with so much passion that we would do almost anything to possess her but still she alludes us? We spend amazing amounts of money on a great mattress. We shuffle through countless numbers of pillows searching for just the perfect headrest. Sometimes we subjugate ourselves to drinking warm milk. I don't know about you, but for me, this concoction is not only unappealing but seems almost creepy.

Sleep does make her presence felt at some of the most inopportune times. You find yourself in a boring business meeting when all of a sudden you feel Sleep's sweet kiss on your eyelids. You silently tell Sleep not now. Nevertheless, she continues her seduction of your synapses causing you to fidget in your chair and gulp coffee in an attempt to fend her off.

Sleep knows no boundaries when she is in pursuit of you. Oftentimes she will come calling while you sit in church services. We have all felt her calming caress of our cranium while listening to the preacher. We clear our throats and adjust our position in the pew. Sleep continues calling our name. We reach for the bulletin and begin to fan ourselves in the vain attempt to ward off her advances. Relief hits us when we hear the preacher say "in closing." We subconsciously tell Sleep that we will give her our full attention right after lunch. However, Sleep always maddeningly mercurial says, "She is no longer in the mood."

If you really think about it, Sleep is the longest relationship of our lives. She partners with us the day we are born and we see her in some form every day until our last. She comforts us when we are sick but infuriates us when we have a big presentation the following day. She is the key to a healthy life but is so often out of our control.

We break up with Sleep each morning and lustfully pursue her each night. Each yawn brings a tear to our eye because it is a reminder that we are estranged from our fiance of forty winks. The Beauty of Sleep can also be the Incubus of Insomnia. She has many moods and layers. Each different and demanding. I fear she will never be tamed.

Print Headline: Maddening slumber


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