Ponder this:

Friday, October 21, 2011

Sleep, dream, cat, book, and a good deed

It is October: the Dark Time is closing in. I have begun to indulge my seasonal urge to go to bed very early, knowing that I'll have that first sleep/second sleep break at about this hour. Last night I was in bed by 7:30, ostensibly to read a recently-bought book that I've wanted to read since its 1992 publication.  (When the flood rendered the local library unworkable, I began again to scurry about snatching up used books at ridiculously low prices. I gather the library has reopened now, and I need to return the four books that I've been holding onto since their late August due date. Not only is it a matter of conscience, but the librarian is no longer so taken up with refurbing the building, the shelves, the plumbing and heating systems and the computers, that she cannot take a moment to email an overdue notice. I hadn't wanted to take them back and add to her burden, you see, so I just kept them here . . . but she's onto me. The fines should amount to a generous donation to the rebuilding fund.) Anyway, the book I'm reading is Katharine Hepburn's "Me." I love the Katharine Hepburn/Spencer Tracy movies and general mystique, but it's taking Kate a long time to get to Spencer. I think we're almost there now. I read a few pages, in which she repeats many times how well she and Mr. (Louis B./Metro-Goldwyn-) Mayer like each other, and when I got to where she's just made her first movie with Spencer, "Woman of the Year," I was satisfied that we'd be getting to the good stuff soon, and turned out the light.


At midnight *ping!* eyes wide open. The pleasant fuzzy, warm, sinking-back-to-sleep feeling receded like the tide going out. Fifteen minutes later I thought about having a lovely toasted  bagel, so I turned on the light and sat up on the edge of the bed. The dark makes perfect mirrors of the unshaded bedroom windows. I looked at my reflection in the black window and thought, "Oh good God, I look like that toy!" 
I spent an uncomfortably long minute at my image, finally thought, "Well, if I'm that far gone, one more middle-of-the-night bagel won't make much difference," got up and bumbled down the stairs. 


What woke me up was a dream. Naturally. It was something about updating a framed photograph at work. All the previous photographs were still in the frame so that it made a sort of historical archive, and the new one, a picture of a young woman, was to go in front of all of the old ones. I had the job all done, was ready to hang it back on the lobby wall, when somebody came in and asked what I was doing. I took it all apart to illustrate the history contained within the photo frame, and dropped the entire collection of pictures on the floor . . . and could not find the newest photo that was supposed to be displayed. I continued to look, with no success, so I woke up instead. If my dreams take me to another dimension, people there with whom I interact must be continually surprised at my disappearance when stressed. "She was here a minute ago . . . where'd she go?!?!"


When I got home last night, there was a black cat crouched in the sunny, wind-blown tall grass along the driveway. I stopped the car and we looked at each other. I opened the window on his side of the car and said softly, "Kittykittykitty?" He looked at me. Thinking to myself, "What are you doing???" I got out of the car with a plan to approach him, knowing that if I touched him I'd have crossed a line which should not be crossed. Fortunately for me, for MiMau and the rest of the household, as soon as he saw that I was coming to him, he turned and ran away as fast as ever I have seen a cat run. He's a pretty cat with emerald eyes. A little ratty, as you might expect. He's living a wild life, not the Best of All Possible Worlds life that fluffy soft MiMau leads. Apparently he prefers it to human companionship and care. Husband said, when I told him the story, that he'd seen the same cat as he came home. The cat was three quarters of a mile away. Big territory: good for him!
10/22/2011 ~ Early this afternoon I saw the little cat again, even farther from here. Between the two sightings is a nice barn full of warm cows, so I think I will not worry about the little cat during the cold winter. 


I can afford this little mid-sleep break tonight because I need not rise early for work. I'm taking a vacation day to ferry a friend to and from her colonoscopy. A Good Deed . . . and a day off from work to begin the weekend.

15 comments:

Grandmother said...

I'm sure your friend appreciated your good deed. Sleep is such a mysterious thing, as are dreams. I used to want to interpret them but now I just leave them be. Have a fun weekend.

Tamara said...

You are such a good friend to do that! There are not many friends I would trust to assist me in the coming and goings of such a procedure.

When it comes to dreaming, I don't remember them too much. And the sleep cycles have been changing with age... who knew?

DJan said...

I had a friend who ferried me to one of those, long ago. Now I have my partner who accompanies me. I also wake in the middle of the night, often, but I stay in bed and usually try to take deep breaths to return back to sleep, and it works. Usually.

Olga said...

I always wonder just what my mind is trying to tell me with my dreams. Sometimes I wake up feeling like I worked way too hard through the night.

Floridagirl said...

I too often wonder what my dreams are made of. Hope you enjoy the book; I read it and was disappointed. I'm not sure why, it just seemed so...self-centered, but then it is a autobiography...
Kind of you to be a good friend. Have a good weekend.

Linda Myers said...

I still get a little jolt of alarm when I wake up in the middle of the night and can't go back to sleep. It's probably a remnant of the days when I had to get up the next morning for work, regardless of the amount of sleep I'd gotten.

schmidleysscribblins,wordpress.com said...

Don't you love the way the one you love always comes running when an external threat challenges his or her world.

As for sleep, I get to sleep early and wake up between 2:30 and 3:30. Someone said if you lie there awake for a half hour you should just get up and try reading, so I tried that.

I woke up and went downstairs to read. I became so absorbed in what I was reading, I never went back to bed. Dianne

Wanda..... said...

I sleep like a log...from 10:30 to 5:30, but only by staying away from the caffeine in coffee or tea after 2:00 in the afternoon. Even one cup after that time and I can't fall asleep at night.

Kathy's Klothesline said...

I have always been a light sleeper, easily wakened and prone to insomnia. When I was younger, I would get up and mop floors or some other physical act of house cleaning, thinking it would help me to get tired. Didn't work, just made me resent the fact that my husband could sleep and I couldn't. Now I stay in bed and think deep thoughts .... like doing math calculations of how much sleep I will have had if I go back to sleep in different measures of time. And I will then dream something insane and not remember the details until I am in the middle of some mundane chore. It would appear that all this makes me the queen of run-on sentences .....

Carolynn said...

Enjoy your day off, your time with your friend, and your book. I have a feeling you're going to win that black over, eventually.

Barb said...

If I got up in the middle of the night and ate a bagel, that would be it as far as sleep returning for me! Your dreams kinda stress me,too - I'm glad you wake up! (I think we both have control issues...) Enjoy the rest of your weekend (see if you can find that cat).

Hilary said...

I had to laugh at the personality you gave to your dream people.. their astonishment at your disappearance into wakefulness.

I'm glad your day after wasn't too demanding on you. That good deed ought to earn you another midnight bagel run. ;)

fiftyodd said...

I am so relieved to hear of someone who goes to bed at 7.30 to read. My husband and I surf the channels in vain to find something to watch before 9.00 p.m which is our permitted bedtime - to read of course!

fiftyodd said...

How come the men find it so easy to go back to sleep after they have woken us up?

Freda said...

My dog tells me when it is time to go to bed - always 11pm.... it has become routine!