From me, to me…

I’ve reached an age when I occasionally wake up in the middle of the night when I inevitably have too many tasty libations too late in the evening. Usually, it’s a quick trip there and back where I’d barely qualify as being awake. Most of the time it doesn’t feel like my sleep has even been interrupted. Fine. It’s an inconvenience of getting a bit older I’ve mostly learned to accept. Well, not accept exactly. Maybe tolerate for lack of other options… and unwillingness to curtail my after dinner “hydration.” 

There’s the rare night when the return to sleep doesn’t happen immediately. Usually that’s resolved with a quick scroll through Twitter or calling up the dulcet tones of whatever BBC World Service presenter happens to be broadcasting at the time. A few minutes later and I’m happily back to sleep.

As it happens, Monday was one of those nights where I woke up. It must have been around 2:15. I know this because that’s the time stamp of the email receipt from Amazon… from that moment in my sleep addled mind I decided that I needed a shave ice machine.

Awake me would definitely not have ordered a $60 countertop appliance designed solely and exclusively for turning ice cubes into shards, but I’d be lying if I said I don’t recognize how having one would raise my level of frozen drink making to a new level. Yes, I could just send it back, but now I’m intrigued. I think I’m just going to write it off as a Christmas present from my subconscious. 

It gets here Friday, so I’ll be over here looking for frozen drink recipes if anyone needs me. 

Dreaming the vampire slayer…

If you’ve known me for any time at all, you’ll know I have a deep and abiding love of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I shouldn’t be surprised that Buffy and the whole Scooby Gang eventually found their way into my subconscious.

I don’t remember much in the way of details. The setting was distinctly southern California, though the sun-walking vamps made for some dissonance even in my dreamscape.  Buffy was there, and Giles, Willow, Zander, and Cordy. Spike and Dru were the baddies, but not the baddies. 

The only thing I remember with clarity is I was dumbass civilian who decided to take a swing at the Big Bad. In a standard fight scene trope, he caught my fist on the fly and squeezed until I could feel the joints starting to strain and pop… and then he dusted. Thanks Buffy.

That’s where I woke up, with my hand jammed uncomfortable underneath me, bearing my not insignificant weight, clinched into a fist, and hurting like nobody’s business. 

Apparently, my brain generated Buffy and the Scoobies to let me know I needed to roll over. So I’ve got that going for me, which I guess is nice. 

The wee small hours of the morning, or Fueling the beast…

Something strange happened in the wee small hours of the morning today. Just after 2AM I found myself inexplicably awake, in the company of the whirr of the overhead fan and two snoring dogs. It was as peaceful a nighttime scene as one could hope to find, but my subconscious was clearly in an uproar, awake, and was rather insistent that we were going to be awake for a while.

I’m used to having ideas for the blog come at me before drifting off to sleep or maybe as I’m waking up. I make a habit of catching those ideas on my phone’s note pad. It’s jammed full of half formed ideas and concepts I may or may not ever get around to dealing with. Mostly those come in the form of a sentence or phrase I can use later, but last night came at me in a torrent of words. Judging by a daylight look, the grammar, punctuation, stray words, and general tone I can say that my subconscious isn’t much for exerting editorial control on the fly. In a few places things are so jumbled that awake me can’t even deciphered what asleep me might have been going after. Most of the rest, though, is clear enough in its intent.

It seems my subconscious wanted to wait until the dead of night to walk me through the outline of what I’ll only call the most dark, disturbingly introspective assessments of self I’ve ever experienced. I don’t suppose it should be surprising that such a thing would find outlet as one of my old fashioned blog outlines. It’s the method I use most often to give complex ideas form and structure before going on to put them down in the more narrative long form.

What I was left with early this morning was a laundry list of a sort. A list of the accumulated slights, grudges, broken hearts, and disappointments. A list of the battles lost, and lost causes yet to come, and standing stubborn against the running tide. A list of the moments of vanity, and pride, and ego stretching out further than grasp. A list of the times I’ve retreated behind my own battlements, inside myself, and what that’s cost me.

It was an all access pass to the oddities of mind that drive the fusion reactor deep at my core, that piles action upon action, cycle upon cycle, loss upon loss, victory upon victory and the hundred different dreams and fears that make me and that make me question who “me” really is at the heart of things. Is there more? Is this enough?

I’m left today finding the whole thing exhilarating, unsettling, fascinating, and horrifying in turn. Maybe that’s what it’s supposed to feel like when we get an unexpected look at what fuels the beast within… or maybe it’s just a sign of my impending mid-life crisis. If that’s the case, leaving off the heavy handedness and filling my dreams with visions of a new Corvette would have been message enough.

Apparently I missed it…

Once upon a time a natural disaster couldn’t happen anywhere in the country and escape my notice. A wildfire in Southern California or a Missouri River flood were the high sign that the overtime spigot was about to be cranked wide open. Of course I’ve been out of that game for a while now… and while I don’t miss the late night calls to pack up and be ready to fly away on short notice, I definitely miss the OT.

More than that, I think I might actually miss what’s going on around me. Through a combination of watching Mad Men on demand and running some random sitcoms as background noise last night, listening to commercial-free online radio through AppleTV, and not checking in with the news sites before bed, I didn’t even know that the entire state of Oklahoma had apparently been wiped off the map until I cranked on Channel 13 for my morning dose of local news. That’s a tough confession to make for a guy who prides himself on having a pretty good grip on what’s happening in the world.

I’m not going to get drug into a philosophical discussion about it, but for good or ill, it seems that I’ve more or less stopped paying attention to the news. Maybe I just lost interest. Maybe I’ll come back around at some point, but just now, I’m surprisingly ok with being in the dark about things. Then again, maybe I’ve only got so much bandwidth to deal with news and current events and I’m just prioritizing what makes it through to my frontal lobe… apparently even my subconscious wants the world to stay off my proverbial lawn.