Once awake, as it was at three o'clock this morning, my mind engages, I begin to make mental notes, to write whole sentences in the air... And then I can't get back to sleep. It's at such moments that I try, without notable success, to put into practice the wise advice I once got from Thanissaro Bhikkhu about those moments when the mind wants to write instead of meditating: say "Not Now," and trust that the thought will be retained, somewhere down in the subconscious mind, ready to be accessed at a later time.
Didn't work. Not last night. I lay there, thinking that I'd never get to sleep. Was it too late for half an Ambien? A quarter?
And then I must in fact have fallen asleep. I found myself in a big hotel, at a conference of what I presumed to be the ManKind Project--the men's organization in which I have been active for some years. We had not, apparently, had the foresight to book rooms, because everyone was looking around for a place to sleep in the vast lobbies. Every place I found proved either impracticable or previously taken. I realized that I had left behind the CPAP machine that helps me breathe at night--and silences my otherwise dreadful snore! Which left me reluctant to choose a place too close to other men, whom I would certainly disturb. I found and abandoned several places--couches, a spot on the carpet here or there--and in desperation tried to make myself a bed out of rather rickety end tables with pads placed on top. It collapsed with my weight.
Then, finally, I happened upon a lovely, quiet corner where there was... a bed! A bit chintzy, maybe, but ideal for my purpose. What a find! I started laying out my few belongings, and was just ready to lie down and get some sleep when the door opened and in walked a Japanese woman with two friends. They were taken aback, to say the least, to find me there. "Is this your room?" I asked. "Yes, yes, my room," the woman said. We began to exchange profuse apologies, she out of excess politeness, I because I had invaded her room. She was very nice, very understanding--and very attractive--and I confess it even crossed my mind to ask if I could share her bed--but the presence of her friends made the suggestion inappropriate. (Thogh I'm curious to note, post facto, that it was only "the presence of her friends"!)
I left, exhausted. I was by now at the end of my tether, so tired that I could barely think. At last, miraculously, I stumbled on a plush couch, empty and unoccupied. Thankfully, I fell down on it, and was about to go to sleep... when I woke up.
I woke up in our little bedroom in the Laguna Beach cottage, exhausted from my night's "sleep," and not a little surprised that I had slept at all. Today, I plan to do some WRITING! Have a good week.