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September 24, 2002: To sleep, perchance

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Fall is coming, or perhaps it's already here. Soon, very soon it will start to actually feel like fall. Already the air is heavy with the smell from the tomato processing plants, and the roads are littered with road-kill tomatoes. The fields that line the roads are slowly being stripped of their harvests and what corn is left stands in stalks turned completely golden with the ears so heavy they hang down toward the ground.

The problem with all this autumn is that the weather doesn't seem to understand that it is nearly October. If it were up to the weather, we would still be smack in the middle of summer. Because it has been hot. Icky hot. Nasty hot without a breath of wind to offer any relief at all.

And for whatever reason, when it is this hot, I cannot sleep. It doesn't matter if we close all the windows tight and turn up the air conditioning so that I must burrow under all the blankets - when it is this hot outside, I toss and turn restlessly in bed and end up staring at the ceiling, or padding around the darkened house, or huddling in a chair staring at a book in the hopes that I can simply drift off that way. During the day I nap fitfully when I can, grabbing fifteen minutes here, half an hour there, but it's never enough.

Last night was the worst it's been this season. After the gaming session, once all our friends had left and it was midnight, I sat at my computer completely wide-awake. I finally went and laid down in bed hoping that I could trick myself into sleeping, but it didn't work for long, and by 3am I knew it was a lost cause.

I'm not the only one, I know that. One of my coworkers at Benthic Creatures has been suffering too, and the two of us sat in the back of the meeting room today, and tried to look as if we were alert and paying attention, when in reality we were both about a breath away from sliding off our chairs and curling up under the table to try to sleep. To try to stave off the zombie-effect of heat-induced insomnia, I downed far too much caffeine over the course of the morning, so by the time we got back to the office I was nauseous, my head was pounding and it was all I could do to concentrate on driving home. Richard and I went out to dinner but as soon as we got home I staggered upstairs and collapsed on the bed for an hour's sleep before Buffy. Sleep or not, there was no way I was going to miss the season premiere.

That hour's nap has at least left me feeling slightly more human, but even more encouraging is the fact that the windows are, once again, open, and there is a gentle breeze coming through. These cooler temperatures may not last more than a night or two before the weather renews its efforts to hold onto summer for dear life, but at least for a little while I'll actually get some sleep. And right now, more than anything else, that's what I need.

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