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Awake

SHOUTS & MURMURS

AWAKE

by JUNE 2, 2008

I’m up. Are you up?

I’m trying to go back to sleep. But I’m awake. Awake awake awake.

That’s what Buddha said. Buddha said, “I am awake.” Buddha got that idea, that whole concept, from a middle-aged woman, I’m sure.

Not that this sleepless business ends after a certain age. I think you have to die first.

If you added up all the hours I’ve been awake in the middle of the night, it would come to years by now. Fifty may be the new forty, but, for the sleepless woman, fifty is the new eighty.

Thank you, that’s a very good idea, but I already took a sleeping pill. I fell asleep right away—it’s bliss, that drugged drifting off—but now I’m awake again. That always happens! I fall asleep, boom, and then, four or five hours later, I wake up—like it’s my turn on watch, like I’ve just had a full night’s sleep. But if I act as if I’ve had a full night’s sleep, if I get up and do things, I will be pitiful tomorrow. I will confuse the TV remote with the cordless phone and try to answer it. I will not notice any of my typos—I will type “pubic school” this and “pubic school” that in e-mails to people whose public schools I am looking at for my daughter. I will say, “I saw store at the Shelly,” and then I will have to make one of those dumb Alzheimer’s jokes.

I could take another sleeping pill, but I worry about that. I worry about liking sleeping pills too much. Sleeping pills always make me think of Judy Garland. Poor Judy.

It’s funny about the name Judy, isn’t it? No one names anyone Judy anymore—do you ever see five-year-old Judys?—but half the women I know are named Judy. You would probably be safe, when meeting any woman over fifty, just to say, “Nice to meet you, Judy.” Most of the time you would be right.

I am going to lie here and fall asleep counting all the Judys I know.

Thirteen Judys. Including my husband’s ex-wife. Who’s very nice, by the way.

I’m still awake.


Read more http://www.newyorker.com/humor/2008/06/02/080602sh_shouts_allen#ixzz1jqcMmytD

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About Beth

I began keeping a journal at the age of nine. Nearly fifty years later, I started this online journal, sharing reflections, reviews, updates, and the occasional secret.

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