4:30 a.m. thoughts
“Monkey brain” – that’s what Jim Malarkey, Humanities professor extraordinaire, called it. I experience it most vividly when I close my eyes at night. It’s like flipping a switch to activate a half-dozen new channels of thought that swirl and collide and dance through my brain while I doze (rarely deep sleep).
Every two hours or so, my eyes snap open (maybe that’s all the frenzy I can take?). It’s almost a physical sensation when those monkeys vanish. Silence. Emptiness.
I’m reminded of the visual Sue Van Allen (Jim’s partner in crime in the sadly now-defunct World Classics undergrad completion program) often used to describe dread: flipping the light switch in the middle of the night only to have an army of roaches scatter, vanishing into the crevices and leaving behind empty counters and floors.
Such is what passes for sleep in my life.
Such is the dread I face when the longed-for slumber descends, however fitfully.