Friday, 3 January 2014


2:30 a.m. and a booming thud awakens me. Another frost quake, I reason. Unlike the first experience, I do not sit bolt upright in bed waiting for a plane wing to slice through our bedroom ceiling or our furnace to violently explode.  Just dozing off, I am treated to a second, but lesser, thud that shakes the house. After shock, I muse and attempt to fall asleep, but the damage is done. I am awake! I should say, I AM AWAKE!
The glare of the digital minutes ticking by on the radio alarm clock taunt me as blissful sleep is now agonizingly elusive. Puffed and re-puffed pillow. Stretch, curl up in a fetal position, left side, right side, back!  Blankets thrown off, blankets pulled on. Where are you, sleep? Please find me.
3:30 a.m. and wide-eyed, I stare into the darkness. Random thoughts do battle with each other in my brain. Is the window open? We sleep with our window open - a slight slit in the winter, wider during spring, summer and autumn.  Nestled between Yonge Street, Bayview Avenue and Highway 7, our old Thornhill home for thirty-five years serenaded us with a nighttime symphony as our community grew around us - the remote rumble of trains, scream of sirens, screech of tires on Yonge or Bayview, distant hum of Highway 407 and the occasional roar of jet engines on their approach to Pearson  Never had trouble sleeping before, I tell myself.  Ears alert and sensitive, I now listen to Uxbridge - silent, peaceful, serene. Perhaps this silence is deafening, I wonder.
4:00 a.m. Count sheep. Think monotonous thoughts. Name all of the books you read last year. Better yet, name all of your teachers from Kindergarten to Grade 13. And then I glance at Jim, soundly sleeping like a baby. Damn! At this moment I could learn to hate the man I love. I overcome the selfish urge to shake him awake just for the company. Come on, Hypnos, help me out here, I beg.
4:30 a.m. Uncle, I grudgingly mutter, admit defeat and drag my sorry body to the kitchen. Early, early morning coffee in hand, through bleary eyes I watch our world slowly come to life for another day.

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