Thursday, January 27, 2011

Sleepless Nights

From January 20, 1011

It's shortly past 5 in the morning and I'm wide awake. Such is my life when my body's circadian rhythm fails to coincide with that of the Earth's rotation around the Sun. I've had the problem my whole life (as far as I can remember) and regardless of how tired I am during the day, even if I've gotten no sleep the previous night, I cannot fall asleep at a normal hour.

I felt like I'd made a petite triumph back in December when I was going to bed around 1 or 2. Although that might be considered late for some, that's early for me, especially since I average around 4 or 5 am. Anyway, I'd discovered a trick to help me reach shuteye status: crossword puzzles. Don't get me wrong, I love crosswords and I adore puzzles and reading a book tends to excite me but something about reading and re-reading obtuse clues from the New York Times just put me to sleep. I was quite happy with this progress but I've relapsed and am blogging in lieu of sleeping. I have one sleeping pill left (and those rarely ever work either) but I want to save it for when I have an actual reason to get up in the morning. I don't have the schedule for my new job yet so sleeping in is still part of my current vocation.

This is all very fitting since the last book I read was Elizabeth Hardwick's Sleepless Nights. I don't have much to say about this book. It's definitely an experimental novel as there's no linear narrative. It's reads like one esoteric New Yorker's diary of her recollections and observations of the world around her. But even diaries have some sense of organization: Dear Diary: this was my day, this is how I felt about it, now this is what I'm going to do. Hardwick is all over the place and her prose is very discursive, very figurative, very cynical. Nothing great, but still a pleasant read.

 I'm looking forward to reading her collection of short stories.


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