Tuesday, November 18, 2003

Insomnia is My Friend 

Insomnia and I go way, way back.

I think I was around thirty years old when we first met, but I don't believe we got really chummy until my forties. Since then we've shared a rock-solid, devoted relationship. Wasn't it Woody Allen who said "Love is to suffer."? That is the kind of beautiful bond I have with Insomnia.

But I digress.

As I write this, it's 5:30 in the morning. Insomnia's siren call gently nudged me out of bed about an hour ago. Thank goodness, too! I'd been sleeping since 2 a.m., and Lord knows I wouldn't have wanted to overdo it.

Who needs sleep, anyhow? It's highly overrated. Having a well-rested body, along with all that clear thinking, safe driving, and competent decision-making could only lead me down some dissolute path, I'm sure. And just think of all the nightmares I am avoiding by embracing Insomnia instead of resisting her advances. (No more giant armadillos breaking into MY house in the middle of the night!) And to put the head on my beer (cream on my yogurt?), my creativity never fails to soar after a night in Insomnia's loving arms.

Like any writer, I keep a notebook and pen next to my bed for those frequent nighttime flashes of brilliance. When Insomnia visits, I will often discover sweet little inspirational love notes left behind in my notebook. A couple of weeks ago I found an entire sonnet titled "Ode to Insomnia." I would reprint it here, but it didn't make a whole lot of sense, nor did it seem to follow true sonnet form. (The iambic pentameter was a dead giveaway.)

A few months ago, right before hitting the hay, I read an exhaustive article in Philadelphia Magazine about restaurateur Neil Stein. After a decade long hold as Sovereign the of Philadelphia restaurant scene, all of his restaurants (mostly fancy seafood joints) are failing miserably, and he's gone into bankruptcy. (Apparently he's a real wiseass, too, and not very likeable from what the article said.)

That morning, when I peeked in my notebook, I came across an entire board game that I'd apparently designed in the middle of the night. It was called "Find Neil Stein's Money."

I'd even drawn out the board itself. It was in the shape of a fish, and I'd put in the start and finish boxes, and even written most of the individual square contents. The goal of the game was to find out where Neil Stein lost his money, and win it for yourself.

I am finally getting sleepy now -- figures -- the sun is up.

Insomnia is my friend. And with a friend like that, who needs Ambien?
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