I’ve been in Jamaica the past few weeks, and since my grandparents’ house is really my second home, I usually have no problem falling asleep here. Large king-sized bed; plenty of kicking room. Comfy enough pillows. Cool sheets. What else could I ask for? I slept well the first few weeks I’ve been here. Clearly, tonight is one of a few recent exceptions. It’s only midnight here in Kingston and yet I feel restless and know I will have a difficult time sleeping yet again tonight for the fourth night in a row. I don’t know what happened. I’d been falling asleep so regularly! I was in bed by 1am and up by 8 am like never-before-seen clockwork. Something about Jamaica just had my body on a sexy time schedule.
But then the nightmares returned.
I’ve had nightmares on and off since around the end of 2005. They come and go. Don’t ask me why. Maybe I’m stressed. Maybe I’m afraid of something. You’ll have to probe my imaginary psychologist to figure out the answer to that one. Anyway, I’ve been avoiding sleep the past few days after having the latest nightmare. Let’s not discuss details. But I will say that I’ve had a lot on my mind the past few days. Work, family, bills, goals, and a particular someone. A bunch of things have been floating in my heavy head lately, and they are most troublesome when I’m laying in bed and ready to sleep. But it seems that I only notice my nighttime environment when I’m unable to sleep through the annoying characteristics of it.
It was 2 a.m. last night when I was resting in my room. Lights off. Sheets pulled close. Pillow embraced. By the time my eyes felt heavy enough to close, a dog barked yonder. For any Jamaican with a fenced backyard, at least one dog is most likely wagging its tail somewhere. I’d place a bet that every house on Red Hills owns at least one. And here at the house, we have three. Now for some reason, when one dog barks on Red Hills, all the dogs bark on Red Hills. So by the time my mind settled on the idea of falling asleep, a dog shot that possibility out the nighttime sky. There was a symphony of dog noise filling the air over my head, and there’s no way to ignore the multiple howling of dogs unless you have earplugs or a sedative handy. Unfortunately (and predictably), I have neither.
The dogs wailed for fifteen minutes. At some point, 3 a.m. came around and I drifted into some type of sleep when something woke me. No feather poked me this time. Instead, I heard an annoying whizzing sound buzz past my head. No shock there. Of course there had to be one lonely mosquito looking for attention in my room in the latest hours. I mean, the sandman would have it no other way! I waved it off a couple times and even slapped myself in the forehead and cheek in failed attempts to kill or at least stun the thing. No such luck. I’ll have you know that no mosquito buzzes my way in the daytime while I’m in that room. Only at night does the creature surface. Sad, isn’t it, that I have a mosquito to keep me company at night. But I suppose beggars cannot be choosers.
I do eventually fall asleep but it’s such an annoying process. I wish I could just get back to sleeping well. I was actually making progress. :( Hopefully, something will change. I was actually getting used to becoming a morning person!