15 February 2009

bob, neil and barry

This is a pic of my dear husband, sleeping in, while we are camping in Algonquin Park with our tent trailer. I've already walked to the comfort station and back, pondered the water and looked for loons in the mist, read half a book, drank a pot of coffee and then proceeded to make breakfast -in and out of the trailer, doors slamming, kettles whistling, kids get up, tustle, find their clothes, eat cereal appetizers, neighbor babies are screaming for their bottles, kids are biking past with bells on...

and Robert sleeps.

My husband's delight in naps and sleep is in direct juxtaposition to my inability to do so. I am an insomniac. i have a more difficult time letting go of my brain. it often chatters to itself late into the night. my doc wonders if i am, occasionally, a low-grade manic. I wake up and think...think I'm sleeping then realize that if i am thinking, then, i must be awake, think some more and then, think unconsciously for a bit, awake from my sleep-thinking to realize that i might as well think upright...once my brain is kick-started, it doesn't stop for sleeping in.

This routinely happens to me every morning, especially while at home as I am treated to the background noise of Robert's clock radio playing awful, cheesy, mindless '70's tunes that he sleeps through, sometimes song after song after song, even though it is 3 inches from his head. I cannot sleep or think when Barry Manilow or Neil Diamond are crooning, but Robert can. Why does he insist on this nostalgic cheese station in the first place? probably the nostalgia. Robert, having worked in his parents hardware store for many years and having endured an hour and a half bus ride to and from school with radio privileges for years on end, has heard, even the most obscure songs, several times over. He can sing the tunes to them even while half-asleep, which is the state i think he was in on the bus, no wonder he didn't mind. Oh darn, a long bus ride, what to do? zzz.

Often he ends up with a song in his head when he gets up. Not knowing where he got it from (mystery!) he finds himself singing it in the shower..."I write the songs that make the whole world sing...!" He is usually sadly out of tune despite his full grasp of the lyrics.

Sometimes i wonder what such early and frequent exposure to Barry et al did to the wiring of his brain. we do find his jokes super cheesy.

Needless to say, when the clock radio drones on and on, i want to get out of that bed. I walk on the hardwood floors and hear them creak underfoot, boil water and grind some beans, meditate on the morning fresh and new, write a few lines somewhere upon my laptop, maybe read a few lines in the newspaper. I enjoy the quiet of the sleeping house, but if i listen closely i can often still hear a faint Barry singing, "Copa, Copa Cabaaaaaana..." At this point i call out to him, and he never fails to be freshly baffled every morning: "...i can't believe I slept in".

To be able to turn oneself off like that, when one wants to, is the envy of my life. To be able to sing those songs in the shower, without any self-consciousness, is, i wonder, another form of the same thing? Turn off that incessant, insistent, demanding brain. Enjoy. Repeat.


  1. Lucky Robert, to be able to sleep in! By the way, Sweet Caroline is a Neil Diamond song. Barry sang Copa Cabana, I Write the Songs, and a host of others that I wish I could forget.

    Welcome to the blogging world!

  2. haha. you're right! I just edited that one.

    I was introduced to Neil Diamond and Barry Manilow in the back of your parents very large silver-grey FORD car, with the blue interior...a very large back seat for two little girls going on a sunday drive...

  3. Rob's my pacer in the morning. But I'm the one who prowls the house at night... I can't believe you can be an early bird AND an insomniac. Amazing.

  4. I have become an early bird, more or less, can't shake the night owl thing...but enither can i write papers effectively after 2am anymore...:)

    insomniac and early bird go hand in hand actually, in that sleep alludes you no matter how tired...i only need an avrg. of 7 hours