Trouble Sleeping at Night


Lately, I’ve had trouble sleeping. I wish I was like our dog Ben who can sleep anytime, anyplace, in any position. Nothing bothers him. He has no regrets.

Usually, when I can’t sleep it’s because I have too much on my mind. So, my go-to solution is this: I imagine my mind as a dusty attic. I climb up into it with a broom and dustpan and begin sweeping it all out – every thought, every sentence, every word, every single letter. I dig deep into the corners and sweep it all into a pile, then deposit it all in a paper sack and dump it in the garbage. A clean attic is a clean, empty mind. Perfect for sleeping.

It doesn’t always work, of course. Last night I still couldn’t sleep after a thorough sweeping. Something nagged at me. Through a window in the attic a moonbeam showed particles of letters floating in the air. I knew they would form into words and thoughts, as if magnetized.

The moonbeam lit up a corner of the attic where a rolled-up rug was stashed. I lifted up the end of it and found various sentence fragments and half-words – moldy from days of old. Included were snippets of embarrassing pickup lines I once used on women in high school and college (and yes, after). Lines that did not reflect well on me and never seemed to work. I thought they were clever and funny, but in truth they were sexist and demeaning. In some cases I’m sure they were harmful.

Under the rug there were also pathetic lines from other cads like myself. Lines that I knew were objectionable but let stand without objection. I will eternally regret my gutless inaction. “Me too” can be an indecent dude. I swept up everything I found under the rug and instead of dumping it in the garbage I put it all in a jar and now keep it on the mantle in a frontal part of my mind – as a reminder to be a better man and to stand up and object when I witness harassment and abuse of women in any form.

Hope I sleep better tonight, but I doubt I will. If not, I will climb back up in the attic.

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