I can’t sleep. I did sleep earlier, about three hours. But, since I wasn’t where I should have been (in bed, instead of upstairs in front of the television), my sleep got interrupted. Generally, when my sleep gets interrupted, I can’t fall back asleep easily. This is why I usually get only four or five hours of sleep every day. My body will almost never let me sleep past six or so any morning. Watching TV usually makes it worse, as something usually gets my mind going. Plus, I consistently ignore or punish my sleep signals – the moments when your body is telling you it’s time to sleep (usually by putting you to sleep). I force myself to stay awake to watch even more TV or something. I am convinced that if there is a Devil, television is his church. Other than the pursuit of the humanities (history, music, art, usw. – all of which we should be getting from books, museums, theaters, and concerts), TV is a high-definition, commercial-filled waste of time and money. And I’m just as hooked as anyone – clearly I’m not ringing up my cable company and telling them goodbye.

It’s two a.m.
The fear is gone
I’m sitting here waiting
The gun is still warm
Maybe my connection
Is tired
Of taking chances

I always think of songs when time comes to mind (time, time, time – see what becomes of me). This is also the problem – the thinking.  I get to thinking about this, and then that, and then another thing – I think like I surf the web; any given topic is far off from my original one.  And thinking is the only thing that keeps me awake.  If my brain starts to slow down I will get drowsy.  Ten at night, ten in the morning, it doesn’t matter.  One of the reasons I’ve become a regular drinker of Rockstar.  It’s the only energy drink I’ve found with Ginkgo in it.  GB feels like nitrous oxide for my brain.  It feels even better than the mental rush after a good cigarette (as if there were truly such a thing – and yes, I quit a long time ago).

She says, baby
Its 3 AM, I must be lonely
When she says baby
Well, I can’t help but be scared
Of it all
Sometimes

What I should probably do is read.  There are over two thousand books in this house.  Many of which I’ve never read.  I’ve set myself a goal of reading fifty books this year, and I’m almost done with two (I have broken my cardinal rule about “one book at a time” – I’m splitting if one is fiction and one isn’t).  My headache is gone, at least (I didn’t mention that earlier).  Truth be told, however, it was a sinus headache, and the Sudafed and Advil have worked nicely.  As well as providing the classic Psuedoephedrine side-effect of sleeplessness.  I can sleep with a hangover pretty well – it’s one of my favorite remedies.  Sinus pain and caffeine withdrawal, however, will keep me up.  Caffeine withdrawal is an interesting one – I’ve actually had to brew coffee to get to sleep.  I’ve never had much of a problem with caffeine, though.  Mike, Kelly, and I (two of the people I’ve lost complete track of) used to go to Cafe D’Roma in Little Rock, and have a pipe and coffee until they closed, which was about midnight or so.  The tobacco shop in LR across from the school had a chocolate blend that went perfectly with a huge mocha.  Of course, John Kelly would have his triple espresso with sugar and be conked in the car before we got home.

Three-thirty in the morning,
Not a soul in sight,
The city’s looking like a ghost town
On a moonless summer night.

If you care, you can Google all these lyrics.  When I look at the clock, they just pop into my head.  I’m pretty sure I’m not infringing anything.  I’m actually feeling a bit drowsy again.  I remember a night that my dad wanted to “help” by renting me a room at a motel (that’s with an “M”), and there were so many things that were wrong with that room – it was like every cliche out of a trucker movie.  Seriously, the door would not latch.  It had, at some point, been kicked in, and the strike plate would just pull right through the frame.  The flimsy little pseudo-brass chain worked, however.  So did the chair jammed against the door from the inside.  At one point, after watching MTV for about six hours, I finally fell asleep. For about an hour.  At five o’clock, my mind said “get up, get ready, and get out.”  I still had a day of running wiring under my Mom and Dad’s house (my childhood home), and a drive back to Nashville.  I pulled over at no less than three rest stops to take ten-minute naps and grab more coffee.  It was probably the most surreal six hours of my life.

It’s 3:45 and I can feel sleep coming.  My body and I are going to agree.  But I leave you with a lyric from the greatest “I-shouldn’t-be-awake-but-dammit-I-am” song EVER.

It is 5 AM
And the sun has charred
The other side
Of the world
And come back to us
And painted the smoke over our heads
An imperial violet.

It is 5 AM
And you are listening
to Los Angeles