Sleepless in the Ouachitas

It’s nearing 5 o’clock in the morning. I’ve been awake for hours, having been ripped from a fitful sleep by horrific cramps in both my legs, beginning sometime between 1 and 2 a.m. The first time, the cramps resolved themselves relatively quickly and I was able to get back to sleep. Not so the second time. The 20-30 minute period of off-again, on-again cramps was enough to keep me up. Finally, about 4, I decided to make breakfast; two thin patties of Jimmie Dean hot sausage between two pieces of sourdough toast, dressed with sliced tomato and a bit of my tomatillo-based salsa verde. The house now smells like a small town diner crowded with farmers waiting for sunrise, thanks to those sizzling sausage patties.

The weather today and tomorrow promises to be brutally hot and humid. Even at this hour, the outside temperature is roughly 80 degrees and the humidity is probably about the same. Tomorrow’s heat index, according to weather forecasters, will exceed 115 degrees; that’s the stuff of heat stroke and heat exhaustion. We’ll spend most of the day indoors, crossing our fingers that the excessive heat doesn’t fry the HVAC system. Extreme hot weather tends to put excessive stress on air conditioners, it seems; either that, or karma is vindictive.

Odds are good that I will nap at some point today, provided the combination of air conditioning and fan can keep me sufficiently cool to permit me to sleep. I am not a fan of naps for many reasons, most of which are irrational. Chief among my complaints about naps is that I might miss something while sleeping. The same could be said about the almost universal practice of going to bed each night, though, so my argument against naps is flimsy at best. And, despite my objection to the practice of napping, I sometimes enjoy a good nap. Usually, that happens the day after a night like the one just now coming to an end; a night during which sleep was a rarity.

All right, then. I’ll give sleep another try.

About John Swinburn

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