Dangerous Compassions


“Yes, I’m listening to Hong Kong electronica!  What of it!?” I demanded of Ming.

“I didn’t say nothin,'” Ming said.

“Listen!” I said.  I was dancing in the bedroom, on the squishy mat.  He glanced at my shelf and left.  He had his headphones half-on and was listening to music on his own.


I truly believed that getting off the antidepressant I took would solve my sleep problems.  Well, I was wrong.  I’m probably doing my liver and other body parts a favor, not taking those pills.  And fuck big pharma–for sure.  But sleep is still a struggle.

Some nights, I can get six or seven hours pretty easily.  But many nights, three or four hours is the best I can do.

Both of my parents had sleep issues.  So maybe it’s my destiny?

I was thinking this morning how insomnia is good for passing on genes, in the sense that if you’re in bed not sleeping, there are other things to do.  So that means more people to pass along the bad genes for creating more people who can’t sleep.  Just a thought.


I remember when I was a teenager and was obsessed with Henry Miller for a minute.  He lived in that special place for a while–Big Sur.  I think that was partly why.  I must admit I find that area overwhelmingly mystically important.  On the coast, on Highway 1, north of where I come from.  By Nepenthe.

Wow, I just read the wikipedia article on Henry Miller.  He got married more times than I have.  Dang.  Anyway, when I was around 17, I checked out Henry Miller’s book Insomnia from the Santa Maria library a few times.

I would not take it home–I would read it in the library and hand it back.  Not sure why I didn’t take it home–it was too smutty?  I did that a few times.  It was behind the counter, not shelved normally.

“You know, it’s not about insomnia,” a librarian told me one time.

“Yeah, thank you,” I replied.

I often think about her.  I always felt special in that part of that library, the second floor, which I didn’t ascend to until I was a teenager I guess.  Grownups only.


Sleep is not an easy thing, for many people.  For me, insomnia is several problems swirled together–my love of being awake in the middle of the night, with that quiet, to write in.  Need for alone time.  The pain from my pinched nerve.  Something like hypomania, especially when my mom was dying.  Unresolved feelings.  My body doing stuff without the permission of the rest of me.

Love to the sleepers, dreamers, insomniacs, narcoleptics, people who have sleep apnea, crazy people such as myself, neap tides, boats, boaters, and all of the ocean and life within it.  Especially cephalopods.

bike gang

It was fun to form a one day bike gang with our friend A, who rode her old college bike.  But I still didn’t sleep well, at night!

bike gang

By Laura-Marie

Good at listening to the noise until it makes sense.

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