Please, I just want to sleep

If you want a sure-fire guaranteed quick trip to insanity, I have just the recipe for you.
Get a puppy—one that has limited ability to grasp the notion of peeing outdoors; one who thinks ceramic tile is a much better place to deposit urine.
Stir in several weeks of limited sleep due to the howling and yelping and whining going on at night (with the puppy joining in at times).
Bake on high by hiring renovators to tear out the ugly fake brick surrounding your woodstove and sprinkle generously with dust from the resulting jack-hammer—dust that will continue to float in the air long after the jack-hammer has quieted.
I absolutely guarantee that the above conditions will have you sucking your thumb in a corner before you can blink an eye.
I think I remember my previous life. It all seems so vague now—a distant memory a bit like a watercolour, the edges blurred and smudged.
Was there a time when I could sit and read a book without having my socks chewed on and pulled from my feet? I think I remember when I didn’t have to have eyes and ears on alert 24 hours a day to a puppy’s bladder and chewing preferences.
I didn’t have to run a loop of questions through my mind: is the bedroom door shut, why is my sock wet from walking through the kitchen, where is my other slipper?
Perseverance seems to be my pup’s strong suit.
Now I’m questioning my sound decision about the basement. I’m wondering if that brick really was as ugly as I thought it was. Should I have left well enough alone?
The brick certainly was good enough for the previous owners, and I bet they even thought it looked smart and stylish and worthy of being showcased in “Better Homes and Gardens” or at the very least “Not Completely Hideous Homes and Gardens,” if there is such a publication (and if there isn’t, there should be).
I’m just tired. Really tired. I was thinking about what I wanted these days; what is calling out to me. The answer is a simple one.
It’s not a trip to the sunny Caribbean or a vehicle that starts willingly in the cold, or a body that reminds me of my former self or the former self I have imagined.
It’s not less cold in the air or less clutter. It is none of these things, yet they all have merit.
What I want is to sleep.
I want to crawl into my bed at night, when I choose, and sleep at will. I want to remain curled up in my warm blankets and sleep until my body and brain both agree that it is time to rise, not when a certain puppy needs out.
It’s a funny thing about what we want. When sleep is forced upon us, in the name of a nap when we are little, we cry about it.
My earliest memory of a nap is around age three or four, and my resistance to giving in to sleep, because I knew whoever was lying beside me, tricking me into thinking sleep would be a good thing, would not be present when I wakened. Little did I know that a nap would become a sacred pleasure.
When we are little, sleep is an obstacle to what really matters to us. As teenagers, sleep is an occupation. When we are adults, sleep is a prize we covet. We fall into bed with a profound exhaling, as though this one thing, this next few hours of delicious rest is life itself.
And then when sleep is available to us in abundance, the inevitable happens: we take sleep for granted, and promise it away in the blink of an eye.
Enter: one cute puppy.
W.C. Fields said, “Sleep–the most beautiful experience in life.” He added the caveat “except drink,” but I won’t go there.
Though come to think of it, drink just may make the puppy and renovations seem almost tolerable.

Posted in Uncategorized