I’ve counted so many sheep in vain over the last few years that I can’t drive by a paddock without yelling out stuff like ‘Rammstein is my least favourite band’ or ‘why don’t you count me’ or ‘I’ll be having one of you in a kebab tomorrow, and I’ll LOVE IT.’ I’m usually on to the cows by this stage, and even though I don’t have a problem with them, I really enjoy hanging my leather bag out the window and shouting – ‘YOU REALLY SHOULDN’T HAVE.’ It’s who I am.
When I can’t sleep, I sometimes write, and when I write late at night it’s almost guaranteed to be rubbish. Like rubbish rubbish. Like bargain bin roadhouse pulp. Like Mills and Boon wouldn’t touch it with a ten foot pole.
The crazy thing is that I think it’s so good while I’m reading it. I really do. I once wrote a poem that had the words Technicolour and anorak in the same sentence and made my sister pass it on to my old Lit teacher who she worked with at the time to show her the kind of talent she had birthed. I never heard back from her – she probably thought I was on acid and gave her current kids some more conservative texts.
Other things I wish I hadn’t done in the middle of the night include ordering ProActiv at 3am. My skin wasn’t even bad. I went to the bathroom and turned a reluctant freckle on my forehead into some form of pimple and rang up, careful to keep the headpiece away from my pock-riddled skin.
Regret came in the post a few weeks later in the form of three innocuous bottles containing what I eventually identified as Domestos. I did get rid of my non-existent pimples, but I also got rid of a layer of dermis I was quite fond of.
Then it was on to watching movies – lots of them – which means that no one wants to go to the video store with me cos I’m that annoying person that’s always just behind you going, ‘don’t bother, it’s not that good anyway’ to every single movie you pick up.
When I’d yelled at sheep, written a bad screenplay, burnt half my face off and watched Naked Gun 2½ all in one day, I decided to go to a sleep clinic. It was very Isaac Asimov; they kind of bluetacked heaps of wires to the side of my head and face and then told me to sleep and ‘relax.’
All they said when I came in the next week was: ‘we can confirm that you’ve got insomnia – try drinking some milk before you go to bed and that will be $900. Oh, and look into this lamp every morning.’ I’m serious. I had to look into this weird light for half an hour every day to up my Vitamin D intake. (And to ensure I never get rickets.)
5 years on – I’m a lot better. I’ll probably never be a great sleeper, but I’ve put some safety measures in place:
- No calls after 12am
- No watching more than one Leslie Nielsen film per night
- NO pen and paper in the immediate vicinity – I kown I’ll regert ti ni teh morinng