To Sleep

Perchance to dream?

It’s nearly 1 a.m. My eyelids are drooping. I can barely peel myself up off the couch.

And yet I know I’m nowhere near going to sleep. I’m a textbook insomniac.

I think this started in high school, when I used to lie awake in bed all night pondering the nature of God and the universe and wondering what I could do to make that cute girl in my English class fall hopelessly in love with me.

My sleeplessness kept getting worse because I kept finding ways to rationalize that it was somehow good for me. During my junior year, I finally planned ahead and wrote a paper early — only to see it earn a whole letter grade lower than the papers I wrote at 3 a.m.

“Well, screw that,” I thought, making a mental note that procrastination works pretty darn well.

In later years, it was the all-nighters working on my college newspaper and on term papers. Then it was the professional newspaper job that required me to work the night shift. Then it was babies screaming for their bottles at 2 a.m.

Which brings me up to tonight. Within the past week, our newborn son has finally started sleeping through most of the night. It’s no longer useful for me to stay up this late.

And yet, here I am.

Maybe it’s because I’m a little scared of the dreams I’ll start having when I catch up on my sleep. During a nap yesterday afternoon, I had a long and stressful dream that took place in the “Star Wars” universe and involved someone I know being frozen in carbonite.

Or maybe it’s because I love late-night television. I’ve spent many nights gleefully clicking back and forth between Conan O’Brien and Craig Ferguson.

I asked my wife Stacey what she thought.

“It’s because you think you’re Batman,” she said.

Y’know, maybe she’s onto something.

Article © 2007 by Michael Duck