Four in the Morning Thought Bubbles

Six-plus hours of fitful sleep is better than none. A dull, throbbing headache is better than intense, almost excruciating pain. So, my life experience has improved since I went to bed early, around 9:15 p.m. But it’s not up to my usual standards. It’s not the experience I hope for every day. Given the improvement, though, I should not complain. And I’ll try not to. But it would be nice for the headache to completely disappear. And it would be nice to be able to fall into a peaceful, restful, restorative sleep. Yeah. That may take some time.

First, I have to unwind. I don’t know how I got so wound up at this ungodly hour. I assume the dream I was having when I awoke to intense leg cramps may have had something to do with it. I was following someone who was supposed to be showing me the ropes in a new job when I got separated from him. We were in a dirty, greasy, crowded train station. Finally, a guy who we were supposed to meet found me; I don’t know how he recognized me, but he did. I don’t remember many other details, but I do remember that he called the corporate overlords of the railway system by an odd moniker: “The Dictatorship of the Prairies.” And I remember thinking his words suggested the railroad brass was a mafia-like cabal that controlled the Midwest with an iron fist, thanks to their control of the transportation system.

Seriously, this headache is maddening. I’m thankful it has dulled considerably, but it is sufficiently intrusive that I doubt I’ll be able to go back to sleep, whether I try to sleep in the recliner or go back to bed. Going back to bed probably wouldn’t be a wise choice, inasmuch as snoring would be apt to keep me awake. Not my snoring. And the chair, well, it’s not really suited to the kind of full-on sleep I want and need. But it may be better than a sharp stick in the eye. Provided, of course, the leg cramps don’t return with a vengeance. Ach. I am not especially appreciative of my body’s obvious decay.


Yesterday’s visit with the oncologist was mostly routine. But she prescribed an inhaler that she thought might help with my more-than-occasional wheezing. My insurance company denied coverage and my cost without insurance would have been just over $90. So I asked my doctor to try something else. She prescribed a different inhaler. My insurance company approved it; my part of the cost would be $458. Yet another reason for nationalizing pharmaceutical companies and replacing insurance companies with single-payer coverage for everyone. I may go buy the $90 inhaler. Or I may just say “screw it” and wait until my next appointment with the pulmonology nurse and/or the outcome of the pulmonary function test.


My “plate party” in Dallas/Addison has shifted to a later weekend in April, assuming the Flying Saucer approves. When I first commenced the silliness that funds a lifestyle of wealth and glamour for the bar’s owner, I expected to have my plate in a matter of months. It has been, I think, about eight years, instead. I’m a slow drinker, I guess. So far, I’ve only invited six people; five have accepted, including my drinking mentor who has since moved far, far away from Dallas. He’s planning to return to celebrate and take responsibility for my slow-motion rise to fame. It’s strange that I have so few friends in and around Dallas to invite to my little party.  I lived in the DFW area from 1989 to 2014; one would have thought I would have made more connections in that time. But I’m truly grateful my friend is flying back in for the occasion. Maybe I should invite other out-of-towners to go to to Dallas for the party? Ah, but I’m afraid I might be disappointed when I find others don’t find my celebration of drinking two hundred different beers a sufficient reason to make the trip. Who knew I would find getting a plate on the ceiling of The Flying Saucer an appealing objective in my post-middle-age years?


This evening, we’re having a pizza-fest. My wife conceived of the idea during a recent World of Wines dinner. She was speaking with the people who share our table at each of those events when someone mentioned pizza. The conversation then turned to which pizza places locally have the best pizza. That conversation morphed into tentative ideas for a pizza taste-test. And those ideas solidified into plans for this evening. My wife and I will go out this afternoon and pick up pizzas, one each from SQZBX, Grateful Head, and Deluca’s Pizzeria (generally agreed to be among the best pizzas in our area, though several participants have not had pizza from these places). As we near our house after getting the pizzas, she will send text messages to the others to meet us at our house. There will be seven of us present; an eighth, the ill house-bound brother of one participant, will receive his share when his sister takes it to him later. We’ll all have our own drinks; I’m confident wine will be included in the mix. It should be fun. Provided my headache has abated by then. If not, I may slink away from the crowd and demur. I’m not beyond eating alone.


It’s already past 4:30. I should have been trying to sleep instead of trying to write. It’s too late to start now, I guess. Time to make a cup of coffee and face the day.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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