Nigh Night (or How Not to Fall Asleep Fast)

Good night stars/ Good night air/ Good night noises everywhere*

I kiss my sleeping boy on the forehead. The smell of baby lotion lingers on my lips as I tiptoe from the room. I stretch and yawn and decide it is time for me, too, to dress in my cozy pajamas and read myself to sleep.white-bedding

Closing my book and turning off the light, I snuggle into the bed, surrounded by white fluffy pillows and a soft down comforter. I sink, slowly, into the mattress and let my thoughts gently float away.

I sigh and roll to my side. Moving slightly, the bottom of my PJs brush my foot. I lay still and review the day. Picnic on the beach. Baby laughing as salty waves chase him over hardened sand. Pulling at my cheeks with tiny hands, whispering, “I lub you, mama.”

wavesI bend my knee to find the comfy spot. Arm under pillow, knee angled, light blocked. Only the sound of a distant car, driving down the public street.

My silky pant leg, again, brushes my foot. A string, frayed from its bottom, loose and dangling over my leg. The sea air drifts through the open window.

I adjust my foot again. Smile. Memories of baby swinging, bellowing laughter with each rise and fall.

The thread travels as my leg moves. It tickles, slightly; annoyingly.

I kick, try to grasp the offending twine with my other toe to remove it from the clothing. It shifts again. Away from my toe.

Annoyance gives way to frustration. Images of baby crying, waddling towards me, holding a hurt finger. I kiss it but it needs a Band-Aid.

I try again for the string, this time with my hand. It shifts again. I sit up and fling the covers from my bed, ready to pull, not caring about the hemline or seam.

My eyes adjust to the darkness. I see clearly. With the covers back, I move my leg only to watch a cockroach crawl, then jump from its nestled position inside the sheets towards my face. I scream and follow the miscreant out of bed. Skin tingling, itching, prickling.

I flip on the light and watch as the bug scurries from the room and through the gap in the window.

cockroachI slam shut the casement, tug at my clothing, flinging them haphazardly as I run to the shower. Heart pounding, palms sweating. Water splashing cold. I steady myself and wait.

I wait for the temperature to warm, for my unrest to calm. For now, my night must begin again.


*Lines from Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown

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