Sometimes I struggle with sleep and wake up unrested after nine hours of unconsciousness. Coffee or tea late in the day can unsettle my sleep, preventing deep REM sleep. At other times I may be overtired and unable to stay asleep after falling off quickly. I never look at the mocking clock. I don’t want to input more data to consider while I am trying to fall back into the arms of Morpheus, Somnus, and Hypnos. Instead of thinking random thoughts, I count backwards from 100 with each breath I take, so that I have a mind/body connection that is anything but stimulating. My goal is the shrinkage of stimulation. Usually by the number 75, I am elsewhere, paddling down a river in the unconscious again. Still, when I wake up unrefreshed, I wonder what’s up down there.
Last week my gitter done wife downloaded a sleep app for my cell phone. It’s amazingly simple to use. I’ve set it up to listen to my breathing all night long. It seems to do exactly that as well as providing statistics that seem real. I can see a graph of my alpine sleep valleys and peaks every morning. And there is a minute total of my snoring along with the actual snore recordings– greatest gags, huffs, wheezes, and snits of all time. It’s amazing but not so helpful. I still wake up tired and a bit paranoid that the FBI is listening to the Russians listening to me snore.
“Boris, he is usink Morse code, with breaths for dots and snores for dashes.”
“Vhat does he say now, Vlad?”
“Uhhmm, he is sayink, ‘My nose hurts my feet’.
“Vlad, that is total vitch hunt. Nonsense. It makes no collusion.”
“Boris, his code may be in code. Think!! comrade. Theese is very clever American sleeper cell.”
“Vlad, have you read his blog? Is nonsense. He is vorse liar than Putin.”
“Boris, you are so naiveskay. Even his blog is in code. He eees very deep state operative.”
“Vell, ve vill see. Vhat does dis blog code say?”
“Ve must vait for ze report from Mueller. It vill all be clear den. Everythink vill make sense.”
That was just one dream that was picked up by the phone recorder. In another I am smoking a pipe in an abandoned Playboy mansion. I’m wearing Hugh Hefner’s silk robe and wondering what in the world is going on. My smoke trails become Playboy models who vanish after I write a series of checks to Michael Cohen. As the smoke clears, I see I am not alone. I am naked in front of the House Oversight Committee and what a sight they are seeing. A bunch of angry Democrats are looking at me suspiciously until I demurely cross my legs as I lower the pipe.
Suddenly giggling Kamala Harris wants to know what brand of tobacco I smoke.
“Prince Albert cherry vanilla in a pouch”, I reply.
Amy Klobuchar inquires if I drink beer.
“No. The carbonation bothers my acid reflux.”
Jim Jordan challenges me, “You want to wrestle, right here and now like real men?!!”
“No, Jim. Uh, Congressman, I forgot to pack my singlet.”
Jordan, “We’ll go Greco-Roman with just extra virgin olive oil. Whadya say?”
“On the advice of counsel and my trauma counselor, Congressman, I must pass.”
“Sissy, queer, commie, socialist, Democrat, traitor….I got a can of Whoop Ass here that’s just dyyyyin’ to meet ya.”
A chill passes over me. My wife must have kicked the covers off my feet again. It’s a nightly Goldie Locks struggle from too warm to too cold to just right. My brain waves prove the internal weather raging in my unconscious mind. Definitely a cold front. I sit up in bed ready to kick Jim Jordan in his sweaty tights only to realize that it was just another bad dream. Insomnia seems like a good choice for the rest of the night. It also sounds like a good name for 100 proof bourbon.
99, 98, 97, 96, 95, 94… down the silent spiral stairs again I step with each breath cycle. Debussy’s Claire de Lune starts to plink in my unconscious mind, drawing me deeper into the moonlight beneath my eyelids. Enchanting. I wander across a moonlit forest floor, picking up bread crumbs on the pale gray path to Hansel and Gretel’s house. I must be hungry, too hungry to recall that the kids left those crumbs as a trail back to civilization. The kids, a boy and a girl, well, I know they’re my precious grandchildren who are moving away, far away soon. There is no witch or oven or cage to fatten them up for eating. No, just a slumbering grandpa whose smoldering brain is firing off all sorts of emotionally charged visuals. I arrive at the end of the trail at a gingerbread house and begin eating the door. Once inside I see the fire is out and the place is abandoned. Hugh Hefner’s silk smoking jacket and still warm pipe are on a chair by the fireplace. “I must have just missed him”, I say to myself.
Suddenly, Boris and Vlad burst in behind me, blocking the only exit from this cookie jar house.
“Ve have been trackink you, Burrito Boy, recordink every yawn and snottle. Ve vill have zee truth vith or vithout Comrade Mueller’s report.”
“Yes, Boris. Give it to heeem. Make heem vish he had stayed in dream vith Jim Jordan.”
BS, “You must be Vlad since you called him Boris.”
Vlad, “You are very good, Comrade. I vill hate to keeel you.”
BS, “That’s just it, Vlad. You don’t have to. I have something you want and you have something I want.”
Vlad, “Vhat vould dat be, Comrade?”
BS, “The Code, of course.”
Vlad, “Vell, ve could use such help, but ve must steel keeel you.”
BS, “No, if I give you the code and you give me a head start back through the woods to the spiral stair case, then you will have the code and I will wake up with another sleep record. It’s a win-win.”
Vlad, “Yes, so vhat did you mean in code vhen you said, ‘My nose hurts my feet’?”
BS, “I am going to write down the decoded message which will unlock the entire Mueller report for you. I’ll leave it on a scroll of papyrus just down the trail. When you read it, I’ll head back up the stairs, counting to 100 up to my bed. Deal?”
Vlad, “Deal. Like blackjack: dreamer alvays vins.”
BS, “Good, let me just scribble this down here… the subject was actually feet not nose. The message means ‘my feet stink’. And that is all, Comrade.”
Vlad, “But the report, vhat do ve make of it?”
BS, “Something stinks. Read the dossier. Something is rotten in Moscow, Comrades. Follow the money. Bye.”