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Middle of the night

Updated: Nov 25, 2018


I’m awake.

Decided to get up and have a herbal tea, a painkiller and an hour to settle my thinking; I’m hoping that by becoming properly awake rather than horizontally sleepily befuddled I will be able to sleep properly when I go back to bed.

The last hour or so I have been in that betweensie neither-nor state, aware that the chuntering of the tumbler in my thoughts is no longer a help to rest: the mix of recent conversation snippets, musical strains from the day, some agitation about how my hips and legs hurt, a vague awareness of the street noises (the distant coursing of cars, the occasional ‘woopy’ siren) and of the shuffles and snuffles of the man in bed next to me. Some emotions that feel good in response to all of this, and some that feel bad. It is easy to get into a circling negativity when something hooks my attention; I am trying not to ‘argh’ about it all but failing, this time. Hoping soon to ‘ahhh’ again until the morning.

Some level of insomnia has been a feature of New York living since arrival, which is a new experience for me. I can probably realistically say that I have enough fingers on which to count the undisturbed nights, by which I mean going to bed at a normal time in the evening and sleeping until a normal time next morning, without waking up. This is how I remember nights to be! I have rarely actually got out of bed to do something completely un-sleepy (toilet visit excepted); but tonight is one of those when my pain level is too provoking to lie waiting for the evasive gift of sleep.

Today was a good day. A nice breakfast with Heike and Iris, our guests from Basel, Switzerland, who arrived yesterday for a week. Then a couple of hours of this and that at home before Luca and I walked up to East 28th for our Saturday Tai Chi class, and lunch in can’t remember the name

where Luca at last got to try the Impossible Burger he has been excited about for weeks. It claims to look and taste absolutely like the best beef you can imagine but is all vegan in content. Ticked that one off his NY experience list. I ate a dish that contained things that looked like vegetables and tasted like vegetables, which seems to me to be a sufficient demand to make on food. Ho hum.

Then we let ourselves be tempted out to ‘do some tourist’ with Heike and Iris’s TO DO list, so we walked up to Grand Central Station and over into the New York Public Library, to get some eyefulls of historic architechtural sublimeness. Actually, while I was in the library I successfully completed the very untouristy act of making my first book reservations, two books by Ursula K le Guin who recently died: you know, the sort of thing a resident New Yorker does. Grin. Then into a café for a cuppa, briefly past the Cavalier Gallery on 57thoff Madison where I had to fulfill my promise to look up some artists’ names (see my last entry, now completed), and then we took the M1 bus up to the Guggenheim Museum. There we were hoping to get into the free opening, the last 2 hours of every Saturday, but we gave up in the end when the snow started, the queue outside was long and slow and we were feeling … ah, now I remember why it was not all good today: I was feeling sick all afternoon with the persistently repeating vegetarian lunch sandwich aggravating my digestion [ … revert up the paragraph to delete lunchtime’s restaurant name … ] and was walking around feeling uncomfortable and unsettled. Yukky. That might explain why I still do, obviously.

Do I want to post this dreary blog? I had thought I would be able to come up with some beautifully insightful and poetic reflections on sleeplessness and how I have dealt with it in the last few months, but I am just too tired to find the words I want to express myself. It is after all 4 o’clock in the morning. So let me leave it as is. Can’t be in any other place!

Good morning England, enjoy your lie in/ breakfast/ church/ day off!

Thanks for being there to talk to tonight.

Good night Anna, sleep well and long.


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