Sunday, April 20, 2008

it's 4:00 a.m. and i'm awake, again

my familiar friend (frienemy?), insomnia, is back. it has been coming on for about a week and it is full out here now. this is something i have had most of my life--i had problems sleeping as a child because i was convinced someone was going to break into the house and kill me. then i had problems sleeping because i was certain someone was watching me through my windows. my parents thought i was crazy, so they granted themselves permission to ignore this. and how vindicated did i feel when we discovered i had had a peeping tom throughout most of my high school years! ick. needless to say, it didn't help the insomnia--actually, it made me hypervigilant, which sucks, too. i even staple gunned blankets over my windows but still couldn't sleep. and i have night terrors. i am such a blast to sleep with! poor rich.

when i went to study in rome, i was awake for the first week i was there. that was bad--i almost left italy because of it, and that would have been a great loss. after i had gus, i was awake almost without exception for three straight weeks. the few hours i did sleep were filled with the most violent, bloody, horrific dreams. i was absolutely insane by the time i got help for it--literally. that was bad, too. i probably didn't sleep well for about a year after that, even with medication. after i had sophie, everyone was looking for problems in me so i ended up getting overdosed on too much and too many meds and then had multiple other problems because of that. and i still couldn't sleep. so for this and the countless months on top of months i have spent awake when i would rather not be, i realize i am now on good terms with insomnia and the solitude it creates. also, i did realize that i had the equivalent of seven or eight cups of espresso yesterday, so that probably didn't help. anyway, it is here and i am up so i might as well do something productive. is this productive?

i live in a fairly rural area, right in the middle of a mid-sized city, so we have all kinds of wildlife that you normally wouldn't see in an urban setting. for example, right now i am listening to something that kinda sounds like an owl hooting, which is in turn making every dog in the neighborhood mighty vocal. okay that's not a great example of how rural we are but i'm guessing i have lots of company for my insomniac state. but a couple of days ago we had some visitors to our yard:

guinea hens!

guineas! i love guinea hens. they are so cute and so fat and not very smart, but did i mention they are cute? i have no idea where they came from but i was so hoping they would decide to nest in our yard. they didn't, but i might get some and see if i can encourage them to stay with food. they are darling. sophie was intent on hugging one, which i'm pretty sure scared them off. at least they didn't peck her eyes out or anything. do they do that?

my uncle bert lives in brenham, texas on what was my grandparent's farm (it's his now). he tried to raise guinea hens but he had this relatively feral dog on the property that thought guineas were pretty tasty so he kept picking them off one by one. my uncle actually caught the dog at one point and put a collar on him, but the dog didn't get the message and stayed wild. so uncle bert keeps moving the guineas around to different parts of the farm but the dog still keeps getting them and he's getting really frustrated because he's spending a fortune trying to raise these stupid birds (they are soooo cute!) and the dog keeps eating them. he doesn't want to get rid of the dog but he wants to raise the birds. so one day the dog goes missing for a day, and he is just nowhere to be found. by the second, third day my uncle is a little worried but not terribly so because after all he is feral-ish. the fourth, fifth day comes and he is concerned. about a week goes by and the dog finally straggles back to the farm, looking like absolute hell, with a dead and rotting guinea wrapped in his collar. it definitely put the dog off guineas. for a while.

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