It was 3:46 in the morning. The husband softly snored next to me. He had a late night at office and was visibly tired. I had been up for a while reading a book, playing online games, setting alarms for errands I’d forget otherwise and checking Houzz for home office designs. The muezzin had called out his prayers as birds chirped with the break of dawn, but the cricket was still under the impression that it was after-hours.
This was not an absolutely bad time to think about writing. But the health inspector inside me was frowning already. I cajoled it to cut some slack and promised a good nap the day next. What cannot be achieved with a good power nap after all, eh?
I’m not a regular insomniac but I have my days. While my partner-in-sickness-and-health would be dreaming of something funny and laughing uncontrollably before going back to his REM cycle, I’d be up crunching biscuits between my jaws, remotely hoping he’d wake up and give me company. Then I’d gulp down some water, clearing biscuit bits from my teeth, wondering if I should go and brush my teeth. In all possibility, I would do that. Remember, I was trying to sleep?
If that is not the case and I’m just lying there with eyes wide open while the whole world sleeps (well, not the whole world I guess), I would probably be thinking of stupid, creepy thoughts. Like, about the flying white bedspread in The Conjuring. But the exhaustion of next day’s chores often overpowers the creeps.
If and when that fails too, I steer my thoughts to planning house projects. Even those not in need of a refurbishment. It is oddly satisfying. I must have been a carpenter or painter in some other life. That doesn’t mean I cannot be one in this life as well. But in this life, I am also clumsy. So it is highly likely that I’ll chop off my fingers or fall into a bucket of paint, thus complicating a job that is meant to be creative. So I leave the jobs to the professionals. But who can keep me from imagining absolutely good-for-nothing projects of my own. I like to think I am a closet Martha Stewart, except maybe I am not.
One might think me stupid, making up these things, when I should be sleeping. But these renovation ideas are my version of counting sheep. I may forget about all it the next day, stick to a lame routine only to stay awake at night and repeat the cycle again. But I don’t care.
Some drink milk to sleep better. Some listen to whale sounds. I think of house projects.