Sleep­less in Metairie

Siloam Springs Herald Leader - - NEWS -

1:56 a.m Sun­day, Nov. 11,

Me­tarie, La.

Oh, great, it’s only 2 a.m., which means I was asleep for about 3 hours. I hate ho­tel rooms. Stupid pil­lows are ei­ther too soft or too hard. The air con­di­tion­ing won’t turn off. And is that a dog bark­ing? Bet some­one left their stupid dog in the room while they are out par­ty­ing. We are near New Or­leans and it’s a Satur­day night, so par­ty­ing is the thing, I guess. Shut up, dog!

I’ve got to get back to sleep. Come on, re­lax, slow your breath­ing, great, it’s 2:15 now….

Boy, din­ner was great at Drago’s. I hadn’t had oys­ters in the long­est time. And that seafood plat­ter was amaz­ing! That mar­tini topped off the meal, too. Wait, I had a gin mar­tini. That’s why I’m not sleep­ing. Gin al­ways does this to me. Makes me sleepy then I wake up three hours later. Should have had a beer in­stead. But those oys­ters, so good, mmm-mm-m….

The rick­ety wooden bridge was straight ahead. I knew I was go­ing pretty fast in my GMC Canyon. Wait, a deer! A huge buck just ap­peared on the bridge! Hit the brakes! Hold the wheel steady! Missed him, but there’s a sharp turn right af­ter the bridge. Wait, the truck fish-tails off the road, I’m go­ing into the lake, gotta jump…!

What the…! A night­mare, thank good­ness, I didn’t re­ally wreck my truck. Hey, I was asleep! But it’s only 2:30, I’ve been asleep only 10 min­utes! Dang it, we’ve got an early flight out. Bet­ter check my alarm on my phone. Good, it will wake me at 5:30 with that catchy tune, “By The Sea.” Bet­ter than be­ing jerked awake by a loud sound ef­fect. OK, sleep, sleep, sleep, got to go back asleep!

Did I take my medicine? Crap, no, I for­got. Well, I’m not get­ting up to take it now. I can skip a dose, won’t kill me. May not pee very well to­mor­row, though. Oh, dang it, now I have to go. Come on, you can hold it. But a full blad­der won’t let you sleep. OK, OK, I’m get­ting up. Hope I don’t wake the wife, at least one of us should get some sleep. All right, done, crawl back in bed and Go. To. Sleep. Now!

It was the last week of col­lege. Grad­u­a­tion would be the fol­low­ing week­end. The thought of no more classes makes me so happy! Wait, what’s that, Dr. John­son? What test? I didn’t know about that test, why didn’t some­one tell me I had missed a test? I won’t grad­u­ate?? Im­pos­si­ble, I have to grad­u­ate! Well, sure, I know I should have known about the test, but I can’t spend an­other se­mes­ter in col­lege! What am I go­ing to tell my par­ents?!?

What?? Oh, not that dream again! It’s been 40 years since col­lege, and I did grad­u­ate on time. When do those school night­mares stop? Great!, that whole dream took only 15 min­utes. It’s al­most 3 now. I swear I will never drink an­other mar­tini! Well, we know that’s not go­ing to hap­pen. If it’s just the gin, maybe I should switch to vodka mar­ti­nis. But I don’t like vodka. What, you would rather not sleep? OK, note to self, no more gin. What’s in gin, any­way? Ju­niper berries and what else? Why are there so many gins in the world? Of all the gin joints in the world…oh, great, now you’re think­ing of old movies. What hap­pened to Humphrey Bog­art any­way? I know he died, but what year?

Will you stop think­ing and GO TO SLEEP!!

“And here to present his doc­toral the­sis on the ag­ing of a novel enzyme ac­tiv­ity in the free-liv­ing ne­ma­tode, please wel­come Devin Hous­ton.” Po­lite ap­plause as I take the stage, fol­lowed by au­di­ble gasps. “Mr. Hous­ton, where are your pants?! You can­not den­i­grate these hal­lowed pro­ceed­ings by show­ing up without ap­pro­pri­ate at­tire! I am afraid you have failed your doc­toral pre­sen­ta­tion and are im­me­di­ately ex­pelled from this in­sti­tu­tion!”

“Noo-oo-oo-o!” I awake in a

sweat. What, am I so in­se­cure I still have the “no-pantson-in-front-of-an-au­di­ence dream again?! Will this night never end?

“By the sea, by the sea, by the beau­ti­ful sea!

You and me, you and me, oh how happy we’ll be!

I’ve got to get an­other alarm song.

— Devin Hous­ton is the pres­i­dent/CEO of Hous­ton En­zymes. Send com­ments or ques­tions to devin.hous­[email protected] gmail.com. The opin­ions ex­pressed are those of the author.

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