The other night, a few minutes after 3:00 a.m., I woke up, shoulder and lower back aching, and decided to adjourn the bed for a session in the living room recliner. Unfortunately, between creeping time, the arthritis that runs through my paternal family line like a blood curse, and several decades of self-inflicted though mostly accidental abuse, getting what now amounts to a good night's sleep regularly entails such moves.
I have gotten pretty adapt at managing to shuffle at fair speed, without a light, from the bedroom, through the kitchen, to the living room in the post-midnight darkness—without whacking my hip on the cookstove, taking out a kneecap on the media table, or tripping over the dog. It helps that Moon-the-Dog is predominately white; I've learned to avoid the furniture through painful trial and error.
I can make it from bed to chair, grab a blanket and pillow from the couch, and be comfortably kicked back and returning to sleep in maybe 90 seconds…except when there's a demented cricket or katydid sharing the room and frantically repeating its monotone rhapsody at a volume capable of shattering tooth enamel!
This happens more often than you might think. At least twice in the past ten days…er, nights.
After a few minutes of such torturous screeching I'm usually thinking of retrieving the thirty-aught-six and firing off a few rounds in the critter's direction—until it occurs that unleashing 180 grains of high-powered lead to possibly go pinging around inside a stone cottage, probably isn't an appropriate response. Certainly not the safest, anyway. Not to mention the fact that, if a ricochet didn't get me, Myladylove—apoplectically startled from her enviable deep sleep—just might.
Hey, don't get me wrong. I enjoy a good insect fiddler as much as the next guy. Like my fellow Boomers, I grew up singing along with Jiminy Cricket on When You Wish Upon A Star. But Disney's debonaire fellow knew where and when to sing!
The common meadow katydid I shared the room with the other night didn't know to shut up. A sweep of the flashlight, and later a hurled cushion, provided only a temporary fix. In the end I buried my head under the blanket, tried to ignore the barely muffled intrusion, and somehow, eventually, managed to get back to sleep—admittedly taking a sort of perverse glee knowing a few more weeks of chilly nights will put the quietus on such disruptions.
His engagement is blessedly limited.
Then, I'll have only Moon's snoring, those noisy stars twinkling beyond the clerestory windows, and my own aches and thoughts to keep me awake.