I think I've been an insomniac all my life. These days I can play online as late as I want, but the 8-year-old me used to have to lie awake in bed all night under the glow-in-the-dark moons and Saturns on the ceiling, overhearing the night sounds outside and making pictures from the shadows cast by the nightlight. (It had a cover that looked like a bay window with the shades down, and late at night I used to stare at it wondering what it'd be like to live in that little house with that tiny bulb.) Yes, I had a nightlight. And you didn't?

Anyways, my brother and I had bunk beds, and mine was the top bunk with a slide... (once again... yes, I had a slide). We used to yack tirelessly back and forth for a couple hours every night... about what, who knows... stupid stuff like the deadliest poison dart frogs or the funniest lines from Jurassic Park and The Lion King. Usually a fart factored in at some point, which depending on the culprit, was then sought to be matched by the other. Ah, the joys of brotherhood. There's nothing funnier than things that go "bbrrrp" in the night!

But then the merriment would begin to wane, and sometimes he wouldn't want to be bothered. And when he drifted off, I'd be chilling with the little glow-in-the-dark galaxies and Saturns over my head, staring into the nightlight like the guy in Eraserhead, and trying to make heads or tails of what was going on outside. I'd hear things like train horns blasting fathoms away, cars passing on the road, late night concerts or whatever that strange distant music was, random cats mewing and hooligans cavorting. To my 8-year-old brain, every random sound was probably dinosaurs trampsing around, UFOs skirting up the street, random cops blowing whistles, and the monster alien Xenomorph from the movie Alien standing around biting things like fences and snapping telephone lines. All this at once, of course. The night was damn noisy.

Then I'd close my eyes and I see random images flashing through my head like everything was going on fast-forward. I'd remember scenes from movies, but they'd all be going in fast forward. I'd make up scenes that never happened in Jurassic Park and sit back and "watch them" play. I'd turn over and stare at the wall, which was a particle board slab we stored between the bed and the wall, and I'd make shapes out of the different pieces of wood stuck in it, make characters out of them and send them on adventures. I'd turn over and stare at the closet in the dark and try to see if I could make things move with my mind. I don't know if I ever got to sleep.

And of course the whole time I'm thinking about how thirsty I am. I'm thinking about that liter of soda sitting in the fridge. It's Sprite. Damn it would be good to have it. Oh, I'd take Orange Juice. I'd take water for goodness sakes. But there it is, all the way over there in the fridge, sitting nice and cold on the top shelf in the dark. I'm parched! I got to get up and get it! But then again, it's dark and scary. What's the shadow over there? Did I just hear a television switch on at the other end of the house? Who would be watching television at this time of night? If someone is up then it's not so scary. But then again, what if nobody's up? What if the television turned itself on? Or what if I'm not hearing a television at all? What if I'm going crazy? It's dark and it's scary. I better not get up. But damn am I thirsty!

Okay, I'll get up and go get it, ghosts or no ghosts, aliens or no aliens. So I slowly go to turn in bed and "KRKREECHH" goes the bed! Oh drats! I move an inch toward the slide, and "SNAP" goes the slide. "FFFSHHH!" and down I go. Every little step is like a thunder clap. I'm planning out my steps like I'm passing a lava field, because every little step is going to wake the entire world. I don't want to have to explain myself when I wake up everyone in the house. They're getting tired of me walking around in the middle of the night. But after about twenty minutes of standing around the darkness, inching one step at a time through the house, I make it to the fridge and "oh yes!" it's good. The fridge's light beams out like heaven. Oh glorious fridge light! But then the long journey back. Then the creaky ladder back up to my bunk. Then the creaky bed springs. Then... oh damn it, I gotta go!

And on and on... and on and on, and on it goes. Hours pass. You start to hear birds chirping out the window and you know it's got to be turning to daylight. Only a few more hours of this! Hooray! Enough of this torture! And right when you're just starting to enjoy yourself for the first time in ages... zzzzz. Totally out cold.

My brother would be the first one up in the morning. He'd jump up and start emptying huge crates of Legos out all over the floor, sending a cascading waterfall of plastic pieces straight into my ear holes at 5am! At that point I'd roll over and in a strained voice say "Shhh! I'm trying to sleep!" 


  1. My ceiling still has these on em! =P When you mention Eraserhead, did you ACTUALLY watch it as a kid?! That show as confusing for me when I first saw it and I was 18! =P

    (By the way, I'm gonna use your blog as a guideline to help me out with mine cause I remember too much of the 90s, and I'll credit you, of course!)

    1. I didn't see Eraserhead until a few years ago, it was a freaky movie, but I used to just lay in bed and stare into things like that guy did staring into his radiator. I'm still an insomniac.

      You can glean anything you'd like from this site. I'm happy you like it.