Insomnia, Cookies, Insanity Spiders and the Exorcist Piglet.

Insomnia and i have had a long and tumultuous relationship – you might even say it’s co-dependent, like a bad marriage.
If i could anthropomorphise my brain (it really hates that), then it would be wearing a wife-beater, low-slung dirty jeans, carrying a bottle of whiskey, doing lines of coke on the coffee table and playing Motorhead while i’m trying to sleep.
It’s uncouth, loud, and verbally abuses me on a regular basis, but we’ve been together so long – and besides the mind-fuck is still hot, after all these years.

No matter how hard i try, i just can’t seem to leave my brain.

When insomnia hits, there’s any number of reasons why.
Worrying obsessively about future events that may or may not happen, guilt, arguments with friends or some random vagrant on the street, asthma meds (basically legalized speed), work, trying to figure out if there’s intelligent life ANYWHERE in the universe…

These are things that keep me up at night.

Sleep deprivation is an interesting thing. It creeps up on you. You can go for maybe 48 hours on minimal sleep, but once you hit that 72-hour mark, things begin to get a little weird.
And since my life is like a cross between a Spaced episode and a Fellini film to begin with, i can pretty much give up on any semblance of sanity at that point.
At 72 hours with 3 hours of sleep per night on average, everyone begins to look like a cartoon, and seems to have become bizarre, Tex Avery caricatures of themselves.
Strange, Lovecraftian creatures begin to appear in my peripheral vision, like little pink deep-sea spiders pulsating, jellyfish-like, in the air.

Generally it is a bad time to have any kind of serious interaction with anyone at this point, especially if it promises to be highly emotional or contentious in any way. Because my tolerance for any kind of irritation hits sub-standard levels. It’s as if i’ve turned into one of those twitchy, nervous dogs that will attack another creature 5-times its size, from sheer Nerves.

Sleep deprivation turns me into a chihuahua.
If you have the bad taste to actually approach me with any unwelcome emotional or mental demands, it’s altogether possible i’ll chew my way up your leg and eat out your eyes.

It probably has something to do with the fact that for 4 hours, i’ve been lying flat on my back staring up at the ceiling listening to the mechanical bitch at the L stop announcing that THIS IS LOYOLA, which can be heard from a block away, with the orange glow of the streetlight shining directly into the back of my brain, while obsessing about whatever thoughts flit, moth-like, into my mind; it doesn’t matter how daunting or inconsequential they are. When you’ve been lying awake since 2 am after falling fitfully asleep at 11 pm, it doesn’t matter. All of it is of DIRE IMPORTANCE, and all of it needs to be dealt with Now.

So today, when i dragged my carcass out of bed (after having finally fallen asleep again for a whopping 12 minutes) and trawled myself to the bathroom to douse myself with 120 degree water, i already knew it was going to be a spiraling descent into madness. It was Christmas cookie baking day with the Piglet and family, which ultimately culminated in a toddler with frosting-and-flour smeared face flailing on the floor and keening like a dispossessed spirit like something straight out of The Exorcist – with me moving as though the air were made out of jello, my brain unable to connect properly with my limbs, which seemed to be dealing with gravity differently than everybody else.

It took two people to get him out the door and into the car.

The neighbors surely thought we were torturing him in the attic, or kidnapping him to harvest his organs.
Once we got him back home, we then had to contend with the puppy, who, in a fit of terrified adrenaline madness (there was a loud noise when the bottom fell out of her crate and crashed onto the floor), she leaped over the dog-fence and ran whimpering and crouching under the Christmas tree to await her fate, which was surely monsters coming to devour her feet first, so that she watched herself being eaten alive by zombies.

Finally, once all the sentient creatures were safely put to bed or out the door back to the idyllic scene of holiday baking at Grandma’s house, i collapsed in a gelatinous heap at the bottom of the stairs, hoping the pink spiders wouldn’t eat my brain now that i was alone and defenseless.

So far, i’ve managed to make it.
But i think perhaps now a nap is in order.
I just hope they don’t eat me in my sleep.

Insomnia, Cookies, Insanity Spiders and the Exorcist Piglet.

Cory Monday

Chicago, United States

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