I've contributed to perhaps the best humor compilation I've ever read. Available now on Amazon!

My second chapbook, "The Second Book of Pearl: The Cats" is now available as either a paper chapbook or as a downloadable item. See below for the Pay Pal link or click on its cover just to the right of the newest blog post to download to your Kindle, iPad, or Nook. Just $3.99 for inspired tales of gin, gambling addiction and inter-feline betrayal.

My first chapbook, I Was Raised to be A Lert is in its third printing and is available both via the PayPal link below and on smashwords! Order one? Download one? It's all for you, baby!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Now Would Be the Time to Ask Me for a Loan

I’ve developed an abusive relationship with my mind.

And if it doesn’t let me sleep soon, I’m going to have it removed and thrown down a flight of stairs.

Have you heard? Apparently I’ve given up sleeping.

When did this happen? Sleep used to be my friend, my fantasy-rich, cozy friend. There was a time I could, given my own way, sleep 10 to 12 hours at a stretch, eyes closed tightly against the world, my tiny fists curled under my chin, my brain running unfettered.

This is no longer the case. While my eyes are still closed, my fists still balled up, my brain no longer runs free but finds itself trapped in repetitive loops, bits of music circling my head with NASCAR-like fury.

Where’s my pit crew and why aren’t they waving me in?

Take, for instance, Sunday night. 1:30, it was, when I awoke with ZZ Top’s “Beer Drinkers and Hell Raisers” stuck in my head. I’m not even sure if I really like that song, and I particularly don’t care for it waking me up at 1:30. I fought it. Shut up! I summoned the Mind Eraser: The Star-Spangled Banner, the Marine Band version, complete with screaming trumpets. The crowd in my head gets to its feet, removes its collective hat, and struggles with the lyrics. I mentally dim the lights as the last two words of the national anthem (“Play ball!”) resound in my head.

Now I can sleep.

ZZ Top takes the stage again.

I curse them and that lousy song as colorfully as I can.

Monday night was a repeat of Sunday night, minus the Star-Spangled Banner and plus the alphabet.

Tuesday night I played along and lead the imaginary version of the real band to believe that a 30-some year-old song popping up in the wee hours of the morning was a welcomed thing. A tattoo-encrusted crowd hollered along, young women with issues around self-esteem lifted their shirts, and I let the whole song play in my head, right to the very end. In my mind, I stood, applauded. Lovely! Lovely! Thank you and good night, Minneapolis!

I specifically did not say “Encore”.

But they did. For hours.

It is Wednesday evening as I write this. No doubt the first 16 bars of "Chattanooga Choo-Choo" or "76 Trombones" or something equally esoteric awaits me.

I can hardly wait to find out.

The mind is a mysteriously crowded and wrinkly place.

Send for help.

And bring snacks.


ellen abbott said...

Well, don't be looking for sleep here. Mine eyes popped open at 1:30 and didn't condescend to close again until 4:30.

Pearl said...

ellen, is that right? Am I just catching on to the fact that there are lots of people who don't sleep?

I'm against it!

Shieldmaiden96 said...

I'm wondering if it isn't a moon phase or something, because I walked around with 'Dance Ten Looks Three' from Chorus Line in my head for three straight weeks. And that song doesn't exactly have a chorus you can sing quietly while pumping gas. Or comparing salsa in Aisle 7. It would start up as soon as I woke, it would be in my dreams, oh, and, crap. It started again.

KT said...

Have you tried using white noise? I have an alarm clock/white noise machine that works great when my brain doesn't want to shut off.

Argent said...

Having exactly the same thing here. With me it's a kind of cuban carnival going on with drums, whistles, strident trumpets, dancing and singing crowds. Sheesh, don't these people ever stop? Tried counting sheep? The racket scared them off.

a Broad said...

My mind doesn't speak English anymore so I am no help at all for you..except to say that listening to music you hate will always result in it staying in your mind forever ... for evah ....
I take a while to fall asleep, wake around 3 and lie there til around 5 then sleep like the dead til 9.
I get up exhausted.

a Broad said...

Oh, and could I borrow $3,000 dollars? I want to visit Minneapolis.

Fred Miller said...

You need help. Try this.




"Louie! Louie!"

See how that works for you.

The Fred Effect: News Headlines

Fred Miller said...

Sorry. I left out one [womp-womp].

Pearl said...

Shieldmaiden, I don't know what's going on, but I'm going to need a heavy dose of something soon!

KT, I actually have a white noise machine that I turn on at night, yes. Before the jukebox started up I used to actually hear rhythms from the white noise machine, but those usually went away...

Argent, is there a slide whistle, too? There should be a slide whistle. :-)

A Broad, oh, if I only had $3K to send to you! :-)

Thanks, Fred. I'm feeling better already! :-)

Anonymous said...

Annoying music plays all the time in my dreams. I hate it.
Often it wakes me in the night. The only way I've been able to successfully combat this is to count. I start at one and count to 100. If I still hear the music, I start over. Usually by the second or third time counting I can fall asleep again. It also helps to start at 100 and count backwards...which takes more brain power.

I feel for you, I suffer the same thing. =[

Kevin Musgrove said...

When the music kicks in that's when I usually start being able to get to sleep. Usually about 2am. Before that, what passes for my mind obsesses with questions of moment: What was the name of Gayle Sondergaard's cat? What would happen if you filled a water buffalo up with helium? That sort of thing.

a Broad said...

Pearl, I heart you and you never know, someday airfares will go down OR I will be in the US for some reason and show up at your door.... which could be a scary thought .. but it really isn't .. I usually show up bearing gifts.. sweet ones that you can eat.

Kelley said...

Snacks around brain matter just sound SIMPLY delicious!! I definitely can relate to the songs stuck in your head and inability to sleep thing. Right now the songs are interfering with my ability to work. I keep hearing the theme song "Wassup Widdat?" from SNL over and over and over. It makes me want to do the kid 'n play and this absolutely is not a good idea while on the clock. Gotsta go now.

Symdaddy said...

I sympathise, I really do ... no deary, for once the old man is being serious.

I have many sleepless nights, thankfully ZZ Top free. I average about 3 hours a night and have done so for more years than I care to remember.

I make sure that I always have chocolate and vanilla muffins on hand as I trawl through blogs in the wee small hours.

Give my best to Billy, Dusty, and Frank when the next drop by.

Douglas said...

It could have been worse... Have you ever been to Disneyland or Disney World? Think...

It's a small world after all
It's a small world after all
It's a small world after all
It's a small, small world.

Now, get that out of your head.

We should sue Walt's estate.

@eloh said...

I honestly don't know how you pop out such good posts on a daily basis.

I just grabbed up and followed some poor guy I found through your site...

He was accidently being naughty... I, of course, had to stop and point it out.

a Broad said...

Thank you for the message on my blog from Liza Bean and Dolly Gee. Pup appreciated it and so did I.
Besos ..

ain't for city gals said...

I know exactly what you mean...honestly sometimes I try to go to sleep and I see lights flashing, hear music playing and I think what in the world? (and I don't do drugs..lol)..My ideal perfect vacation would be to go to Hawaii and sleep sleep sleep...

Charlotte Ann said...

one word: Ambien

Casey Freeland said...

Um, I'd like a loan please. Seriously though, you sound like you are overstimulated. Try reading a book. That should put you in a different state of mind.

Good luck.


Herding Cats said...

Camomile Sleepytime Tea! It helps :)

WrathofDawn said...

the last two words of the national anthem (“Play ball!”)


I don't hear music in my head but recently have become very sensitive to the tiniest bits of light. I can nap like a baby in the daytime, but let light from the neighbour's back light creep the tiniest bit around the edge of the window blind and SPROING!!! my eyelids are flapping up like a pull-blind with a hyperactive spring. Ditto sounds. Any sounds and I'm AWAKE.

I have resorted to a sleep mask and earplugs. I don't look nearly as fetching as Audrey Hepburn in "Breakfast at Tiffany's" but I sleep better.

I agree with Casey's suggestion. Reading usually shuts my brain up, too.

Dawn said...

I wanna be overstimulated! But seriously, For three weeks I had a damned John Denver song on a continuous loop in my head. Apparently traveling through West Virginia causes brain damage. Send up a flare if you find a cure, because I don't think I've slept since the eighties. And back then it was probably the drugs. *searching for a doobie cure*

W.C.Camp said...

Methinks what thee needs is a dose of REVERSE PSYCHOLOGY. Therefore, before you head for bed, eat a bunch of jalepenos, drink a pot of coffee, and turn on all the lights. You'll be asleep in seconds! W.C.C.

DEC said...

Last night I dreamed I had an history exam I haven't studied for... last time I had an history exam was 12 years ago... When I woke up I was glad it was not a math text, that would be stressful.

Anyway, if you ask me, I'd rather wake up with some song stuck to my head.

My suggestion to you: "Tylenol simply sleep" or wine - not both though :) Show your mind who is in charge!


Tempo said...

I'm a big believer in the whole 'body clock' thing. No bright lights in the evening and as soon as I get up I turn on my very bright 4foot kitchen Fluro to keep me on time. Truely, I dont even need an alarn clock to get up the same time every morn. (dont even own an alarm clock)
Have you tried counting sheep? 10,345. 10,346. 10,347....

Sausage Fingers said...

Now that school is back I have been as busy as a cat in a shitebox. Be back soon.
Love, Sausage Fingers

Anonymous said...

Oh my.. sleep is my refuge and friend! I'm sending her straight back to you before you go stark raving mad!

Linda Myers said...

I used to lie awake all night and listen to my husband Art stop breathing. Since he got his CPAP machine, its white noise is a comfort. Most nights, I sleep now.