Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Full Moon Strikes Again.


full moon faceEleven o'clock is my normal bedtime; attempts to catch The Daily Show or the later Colbert Report usually result in pillow drool. I just can't stay awake. I remember when I bought the tv for the bedroom; my guy friends issued code red warnings. They said my wife and I would fall asleep just before the climax of movies, and have a lot less climaxes in general. Bad for sex, bad for a marriage. In a feat of inverse logic acrobatics, I had figured that as my kids got older, we'd have more time for sex. Au contraire, fretful libido. My kids stay up later now, and can interpret visual clues more accurately, like why their naked parents might be mounting each other. "Mommy is looking very closely at a boo-boo on daddy," just doesn't wash anymore.


As far as our carnal playground goes, our two teenagers have an indiscriminate habit of barging in to our bedroom without knocking. Complaints about each other, desperately sought wardrobe advice for the next morning, or the simple need to kiss their beloved parents goodnight effectively destroy any chance for robust, uninhibited prurience. Don't get the wrong idea: after 14 years of marriage, it's not like we've got our ears pinned against the bedroom walls every night, waiting for the kids to nod off. But I digress...

Like many other werewolves, owls and intrepid insomniacs, I can't sleep when there's a full moon. It's not stress or anxiety related, whereby manic worries are constantly careening through my head, or that horrible restlessness, when the mattress feels like it's filled with crunchy granola and my chicken wing-like joints are protruding into the box spring.

Nope...just can't sleep. Wide awake. Ready for anything. An often-ignored-for-very-good-reasons theory states that since the gravitational pull of the moon affects the tides, it affects us as well, since we are largely composed of water. It's true that I had an inordinate amount of fluids sloshing around in me last night, but didn't sense the Beck's I drained ebbing or rising anywhere inside me...
caveman carving
If that's an iron hammer he's holding,
why is he wearing a  primitive bearskin hula skirt? 

Due to my working class ethic, or more honestly, due to the insipid boredom of staring at the ceiling, I felt I should've been using the time productively. To me, the full moon has a certain primal quality; I was thinking that ancient man probably used the extra light to prepare himself a nice woolly mammoth sandwich, copulate with one or two of the less hairy females in the cave, or better yet, work on that pesky, unfinished petroglyph. Carving a jackal's head on the trunk of a human is trickier than it looks.

I unplugged my cell phone from its dutiful charger, clicked it on and was instantly blinded. Opening the Facebook app yielded typical results: well-meaning friends posting the usual collection of cute pet quotes, pithy adages or entreaties to help with their latest Ga-Zinga game. I rose from bed, drawing the attention of my busy, balls-licking dog (if I could do that, I'd never be bored). I descended the stairs quietly, and entered our tiny garden out back. There it was--the REM-depriving, intense silvery obelisk, chilling out in the Bronx skyline. It occurred to me to do something long overdue: I thanked the universe for my life. No joke. Just because I'm a cynical, jaded, misanthropic, acrimonious, dyspeptic, midlife-crisis-ridden 50-year-old, doesn't mean that I don't appreciate anything. I've been incredibly fortunate my entire life, sometimes more so in failing than succeeding. I've already had enough life experiences for two or three lives, and I ain't done yet...

It only took a minute or two; I traipsed back upstairs and crawled into bed. In a few seconds I was sound asleep, and didn't wake again until morning.

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