Like a Stone

William Powell Frith - Sleep

William Powell Frith – Sleep

March 23rd Daily Prompt:  Mr. Sandman 

What kind of sleeper are you? Do you drop off like a stone and awaken refreshed, or do you need pitch black and silence to drift off to dream?

(I know this is yesterdays prompt, and I would have done it yesterday if I hadn’t needed to take so many naps.  It’s the only sane way to spend a Monday.)

I am a marathon sleeper.  If sleeping were an Olympic event I would be a high ranking favourite, a definite contender for the gold.  I have been in training my entire life.  When I was a baby my mother said her envious friends were sure she must be sedating me.  She could plop me down on any flat surface while she visited and drank tea and I would stay happily passed out until it was time to bundle me up again and take me home.  It was anyone’s guess what color my eyes were for several months because they were so rarely open.

I don’t remember ever being freaked out by bedtime as a child.  Or as an adult either.  So when I gave birth to a daughter who couldn’t seem to figure out how to sleep for more than four hours at a stretch until she was six months old, and then bumped it up to six hours between midnight and six a.m. until she was almost two – well that was enough to make me totally rethink the parenting thing, never mind my new zombie-like personality caused by sleep deprivation.  She was the kind of kid who would jump up and down in the middle of the room and sing and dance to stay awake.  After that I had a less confusing child who restored my faith in the existence of our family’s powerful sleep gene.  I never loved my son so much as when he would look at me with his forlorn little face at the end of the day and say “Is it time to go to bed yet?”

Although pitch black silence is nice for inducing sleep, for me it’s not a necessary requirement.  My grandma could fall asleep anywhere and so can I.  A loud noise or the phone ringing or incessant and annoying snoring (not mentioning any names here) will wake me up easily enough, but if I’m not sufficiently rested I will be ridiculously cranky until you shut up and go away and leave me alone.  Or give me coffee.  That also works.

Maybe I was a raving insomniac in a past life and in this one I’m making up for all that lost sleep. Sleep is such a lovely thing.  I don’t understand why we all don’t do more of it.  Although I’ve heard there are people who would like to do that and can’t.  That makes me feel like one of the lucky ones.   It’s like my brain has an off switch triggered by simply closing my eyes.  Is that a blessing or a curse?  I don’t know.  Maybe the mysteries of the universe can only be solved at 3 a.m., in which case I probably won’t be the one doing that.

But I’m sure this talent for dropping happily off into dreamland and staying there for hours has to be a true indicator of an untroubled mind, right?

Anyway, don’t think too hard about that.  Just agree with me.  You’ll sleep better.

All My Fears From A to Z

This image was selected as a picture of the we...

This image was selected as a picture of the week on the Malay Wikipedia for the 29th week, 2010. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Fear Factor Daily Prompt:  People are afraid of all kinds of things: spiders, the dark, or being enclosed in small spaces. Tell us about your greatest fear — rational or irrational.

I am a day behind with this, so I guess we can rule out the fear of being late.  There is no one major area of crippling paranoia for me.  Just a lot of minor annoying (but, of course, completely rational) phobias which I have decided to organize into an alphabetical list.

1.  Aliens (especially the ones that are cleverly disguised and walking among us.) (Hey, I’ve seen the documentaries, I know about these things)

2.  Bats (the kind that fly around at night wanting to get tangled up in your hair)

3.  Cancer

4.  Drowning

5.  Explosions

6.  Falling (hard and awkwardly enough to break bones) (or down an abandoned mine shaft)

7.  Germs (and people who don’t wash their germy hands)

8.  Heights (rooftops and beyond)

9.  Illnesses of the fatal variety

10.  Job interviews (avoiding them is the reason I’ve been doing the same job for so long)

11. Karaoke (Really, that shit is scary)

12. Lightning bolts

13.  Memory loss and Madness (although if I do go mad, who knows, it might just be a different kind of happy)

14.  Natural disasters

15.  Oceans

16.  Pain

17.  Quicksand

18.  Roller Coasters

19.  Swimming (without a life jacket) (in the ocean) (…which would lead to drowning….)

20.  Typhoons

21.  Unidentified Flying Objects

22.  Violence (physical, verbal, abuse of any kind)

23.  Wasps

24.  Xenophobia (Yes, I know, fear of a fear.  But until we get over our fear of strangers and foreign things,  peace on earth will never happen)

25.  Yeti

26.  Zombies

I probably won’t write a children’s alphabet book based on this list, complete with frightening illustrations, although stranger things have been done with the alphabet.  And many of the things I’ve listed (like the last two, for instance), I have no actual personal experience with whatsoever.  They just seem to me to be absolutely fear-worthy.

What are you afraid of?

A Fork Tale

Daily Prompt: 

Write a post about anything you’d like, but be sure to include this sentence somewhere in the final paragraph:

“He tried to hit me with a forklift!”

***********

Clifton Carmichael is a dutiful son.  He goes to visit his 89-year-old mother in the seniors residence every day and patiently listens to all her complaints.angry

The food is terrible here.  Everything is mush.  The coffee is like dishwater.  And those caregivers!  Why do they always mumble and never speak up.? And they don’t listen either.  I tried to tell them that some of my best articles of clothing have been lost by the facility laundry.  Anybody could be wearing my things!  I wanted to keep a look out for them but someone has gone off with my good glasses too.  I don’t think I’m wrong to strongly suspect that old coot, Ernie.  You remember Ernie?  They’ve forced me to share a table with him in the dining room and he is downright cantankerous and extremely unpleasant.  I have no idea why.  I try to be nice, I surely do, but I do not like him, not one little bit.  Why, just the other day he rudely disrupted dinner by waving his cutlery around at me in a very menacing manner.  Clifton, are you listening to me? 

Hmmm…?  Of course mother.  Ernie.  Are you getting along any better with Ernie now?

He tried to hit me with a fork, Clift!

A forklift?  Mama, don’t be ridiculous.  And don’t fret, nobody could get a forklift past the security doors.

A fork, Clift.  FORK!  FORK!  FORK!

Mother,  please!  Shush – such language!  You’ve imagined the forklift.  I’ll get the nurse to give you something to calm your nerves.

Get her to give something to that Fork King, Ernie, why don’t you? He’s the villainous silverware fiend!  Oh, never mind.  Nobody listens to me.  Go home Clifton.  I can look after myself.

Yes. Yes, alright.  I do believe you can.

Clifton Carmichael sighs as he gets up and kisses the top of his mother’s silver head.  Forklifts in the dining room.  Good God, he thinks as he bids her goodbye, what next?

Dancing In The Moonlight

dancing in the moonlight

dancing in the moonlight (Photo credit: AlicePopkorn)

Daily Prompt:  The Full Moon -When the full moon happens, you turn into a person who’s the opposite of who you normally are.  Show us the new you.

The new me, under the light of the full moon, will be dancing her little heart out with beauty and grace.  (The old me is a terrible and awkward dancer with heavy duck feet and a clumsy body which bumps into things and knocks them over.)

I found this picture of opposite me, wearing a fluffy white dress, on a pedestal, taking a breather from all that manic prancing around in the middle of the night.  And still smiling even though my bare feet are wet from the dewy grass and I have no idea how I’m going to get down from there.

It appears that moonlight also makes one young and gorgeous with great hair.  Wow.  That’s better than the magic of candle light, hey?  Get out there in that moonlight, people!

To quote some lovely moony lyrics from King Harvest -

When the moon is big and bright, it’s a supernatural delight

Everybody here is out of sight, they don’t bark and they don’t bite

They keep things loose, they keep it light, it’s such a fine and natural sight

You can’t dance and stay uptight.

Here’s the music I’m using for my next dance under the moon.  Come and join me!  I swear I won’t bark and I won’t bite.  Beyond that, I’m not making any promises about my behaviour.  A full moon does strange things.

Catching Up While Nodding Off

coffee soul wine
Here is a list of words which best describe my frame of mind on this hot and muggy August evening.

1.  Sluggish (an actual slug would look hyperactive in comparison)

2.  Inactive (I’m typing only because I get to sit down to do it)

3.  Unresponsive (W sent me a text and a one word answer wore me out)

4.  Languorous (physically and mentally squishy)

5.  Listless (although not really because, hey – this is a list)

6.  Weary (women do get weary)

7.  Lackadaisical (dreamy, but the dreams are purposeless and beyond weird)

8.  Somnolent (sounds so much more sophisticated than just plain sleepy)

9.  Unambitious (my post-a-day plan has gone for a crap)

10.  Lazy as hell

This has been going on since dragging my butt home following five straight days of work (three is normally my limit and then I turn into a walking zombie).  Then I tried to answer a daily prompt which wanted to know what bores me.  Everything I wrote, if you need to know the answer to that one.  I gave up and wrote this exciting list instead.

Now I’m too embarrassed to reply to old comments because everyone has SO moved on and will have forgotten who I am, never mind what they said to me.  I’m sorry.  But too out of it to drum up the effort to make a sad face.

There!  This can pass for a post!  I am going to hit PUBLISH and go to bed!  Expect slightly greater things tomorrow.  Or possibly the day after that.

Ask A Silly Question

“Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love. It will not lead you astray.” ~Rumi

Publicity photo of The Supremes from The Ed Su...

Publicity photo of The Supremes from The Ed Sullivan Show. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Daily Prompt:  When you were 10, what did you want to be when you grew up? What are you now? Are the two connected?

Art class was one of the things I loved most about elementary school, a close runner-up to reading everything I could get my hands on and making up long and involved (very loosely based on reality) stories of my own.  I remember the day our teacher gave us big blank pieces of art paper and told us to paint a picture which illustrated the answer to the question “What do you want to be when you grow up?”

In my short little life so far I had been asked that question about a billion times and was really sick of the people pleasing answers I felt compelled to come up with in response to it.  I usually said whatever I thought was most likely to get the adult harassing me to smile and nod and then go away and pick on somebody else.  It was my experience that grown ups really didn’t care what you wanted to be when you grew up, it was just a thing they asked kids when they couldn’t think of anything else to say.

This art assignment was less structured than normal, almost like being asked to paint whatever popped into our heads. So here’s what popped into mine.

I painted a stage across the bottom and a beautiful sparkly gossamer curtain across the back with lines and lines of flowing folds.  On the stage stood a beautiful blonde woman in a gorgeous white evening gown which looked like a wedding dress without the veil.  So I added a couple of gigantic red roses and a bow for clarification.  In her hands she held a microphone attached to a long black cord that coiled off to one side and out of the picture.  This was back in the day when microphones could be taken off their stands allowing performers to walk around trying not to get tangled up in a bunch of wires.  The lady’s eyes were closed and her mouth was a big round red O taking up half her face. There were musical notes floating around above her head.   It was a beautiful picture and I was incredibly proud of it.  Because that was going to me – drop dead gorgeous, blonde, dressed to kill and singing my heart out on the Ed Sullivan Show.

So how did that work out for me?  Actually, not well.  I can’t sing.  I don’t look so great with blond hair – tried it once and didn’t have any more fun than I’d had as a brunette.  Never in my life have I owned or felt the urge to purchase such elaborate formal wear. Or one of those big poufy wedding dresses either. Red lipstick makes me look weird.  I have never used a microphone or done anything on a stage where I was the center of attention unless you count being handed a diploma. And Ed Sullivan died before I could be discovered.  If he was alive today he’d still be waiting.

Today I work in the medical field and wear a lab coat at work every day.  Hey – it’s white!  So that part of my vision of the future was bang on.  The rest, not so much. Even as the picture took form all those years ago I’m sure I knew it was just a silly dream and simply an excuse to paint a beautiful lady in a stunning dress.

I try to make a point of never, ever, asking a young child what they want to do with their lives.  How can they possibly know?  What a kid does know is what’s fun, what makes them laugh the hardest, what games they like to play, which books are the best to read.  They’ve got years and years to live and so many things to experience and even then their life work decisions may never be carved in stone.

Now I’d answer the question by saying simply that I just want to be happy.  There’s time enough to discover all the ways there are to make that happen.

Alphabetical Argument

flapper costumeDaily Prompt:    Create a short story, piece of memoir, or epic poem that is 26 sentences long, in which the first sentence begins with “A” and each sentence thereafter begins with the next letter of the alphabet.

Alice, are you aware of the time?

Back off Buster, you are such a bloody butthead.

Could you please refrain from calling me names?

Dumb ass dork.

Enough, just get your own stupid ass in gear, we are going to be so freaking late.

F off.

Good God, you would aggravate a saint.

HA – well good thing there’s none of those around here to be aggravated.

Is that really what you’re wearing?

Just trying it on to see.

Know what would work better?

Let’s hear it, Einstein.

Making up your mind now so we at least have a faint chance in hell of getting there before the whole thing is over.

No shit, you nerd brained numb nuts.

Oh, for the love of all that’s holy, that one looks perfectly fine, let’s get out of here.

Piss off and get out of my way.

Quit being so damned querulous.

Really – such a big word – do I have time to look that up?

Shut up and put on your shoes.

This outfit makes my ass look huge.

Uh, no, not going there.

Very good choice.

What the hell, seriously, you’re going to wear that… that….?

X-rated floozy dress?

Yes, holy crap, Alice, it took you this long to end up looking like a 1920’s flapper?

Zip it Mr. Punctuality – I’m all set and you’re wasting time – let’s get this show on the road!