The Unbearable Banishment: Sing me a lullaby

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Sing me a lullaby

Do any of you use sleeping supplements? Occasionally, I'll lie in bed at night and just as I'm about to drift off, my mind will frantically race with dark thoughts. Troubling images relentlessly wash over me. My brain spirals and when I snap out of it, my jaw is clinched tight and my hands are balled into fists.

It doesn't happen on a regular basis, thank Jeebus. Maybe a few times a month. But when it starts, it's an effort to stop it. Usually, I can calm myself through meditative breathing exercises. If that fails I'll take one Tylenol PM. That does the trick although I don't like taking a cold/flu tablet if I'm not sick. You can build up an immunity to meds. I think Mrs. Wife is up to three or four Advil per dose.

My sleep-threshold madness almost always involves harm to my family. I'm concerned that when the girls get older and get into confrontations at school (it's inevitable), I'll go ballistic. I hope I can keep it together. What do you do if your kid is picked on? Isn't your first impulse to find the father of the little monster whose making your baby cry and use a pipe to turn his teeth into sharp, jagged little chips? Or is that just me?

* * *

10-Year Old Daughter: "When I start a new book, I feel like I'm about to enter a different world."

One down one to go. I'm jealous of my girls. I wish my pop had done that for me.

* * *

Adios summer. It was TOO DAMN HOT this year. Bring on autumn. Football starts in just two days and the leaves will soon change color. All-day pots of hot coffee. Mrs. Wife's astonishing crock pot beef stew. The new theater season is just underway. [I already have a ticket to see Al Pacino in David Mamet's Glengarry Glen Ross. How's that for a perfect storm?] Thick sweaters and, soon enough, Christmas carols on 5th Avenue. Man, I love it all.

I lasted 18 months in Arizona and fled for lack of the seasons. (That and a ruinous love affair with a pretty, erotically-inclined Mormon who was "pre-engaged" to a weightlifter/ physical trainer back in Salt Lake City who could have crumpled me into a tiny ball and tossed me over his shoulder like a piece of waste paper. But that's a whole other post.)

Here's my farewell summer lunch. Grilled bratwurst. Laid gently into a bun with a squiggle of brown mustard. At first bite, the juices trickled onto my tongue. My head tilted back, the room spun and I slapped the table top with an open palm. They were that good.

* * *

I stumbled across this New York haiku written on the sidewalk. I couldn't have said it any better.

* * *

Self Portrait #1

That's my thumb! It's an exercise in perspective.


Blogger Gorilla Bananas said...

The Mormon girl had a love affair with you after she had promised herself to the weightlifter? Man, she must have been a horny chick! Maybe she was angling for a threesome? Did you think of that?

September 4, 2012 at 12:31 PM  
Blogger Ellie said...

The self-portrait is awesome in it's perception distortion. And scary. Why is it inevitable that the girls will be picked on? They may just fly right by the bullies and be the champions of the picked ons.

September 4, 2012 at 12:31 PM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

GB: I can ASSURE you that there was no angling for a threesome! He (pre-fiancee) lived in Salt Lake City while she went to school in Phoenix, where I met her. He wished me dead and would have like to do the deed himself. He would call my apartment in the middle of the night and hang up. Meanwhile, she behaved like someone who was suddenly freed from her cage. (Oh...sorry. I'm sure you've become accustom to yours by now.) I got her addicted to caffeine. She'd go back to Utah to visit her family and get pounding headaches. She'd have to sneak off and buy a Coke.

Ellie: My girls are perfectly charming and have acclimated themselves socially. They probably won't have any problems at all. I, on the other hand, like to spew my own experiences and negativity all over the nice clean rug.

September 4, 2012 at 1:34 PM  
Blogger Pat said...

I think i've trained myself to NOT think any bad stuff at bed-time and in stressy times have a couple of Quiet Life at bed time(herbal harmless)
There's always the exception of course but I'm now ruthless with fearful thoughts that used to plague me.
Enjoy your theatre you lucky so and so.

September 4, 2012 at 3:45 PM  
Anonymous daisyfae said...

one of the most important tasks of parenting? teaching them how to survive and thrive in an unfair, and occasionally ugly world. that means... dare i say it? ... they need to learn to manage their own battles.

my son, who was fairly small for his age, learned in elementary school that the best way to avoid getting beat up was to do one of the following: a) get his assailant to laugh or b) act batshit crazy.

and your thumb is mutant. it bends backward. you better not show me that when i'm in NYC again or i'll throw up.

September 4, 2012 at 4:01 PM  
Blogger mapstew said...

1: I'm known the length and breadth of this green isle for my 'fucked-up' thumbs. Your's have just got me off the hook!

2: Daisyfae is right, I got through school (What a year!) making people laugh AND acting batshit crazy!

C: You look like Peadar Mc M., an old friend of mine, left here for your side of the pond many moons ago. :¬)

September 4, 2012 at 7:09 PM  
Blogger mapstew said...

(yours!!) :/

September 4, 2012 at 7:10 PM  
Anonymous paulo1 said...

And the recipe for your wifes crock pot beef stew is ????????

September 4, 2012 at 7:48 PM  
Blogger Sprinkled Words (former Miss Milk) said...

That last photo is easily your best work yet.

September 4, 2012 at 8:40 PM  
Blogger Kono said...

I use sleeping supplements all the time, of course none of them are over the counter or obtained legally and they are sometimes used at all hours of the day but hell i do use them and night, the one just makes my dreams kinky and the other makes me dream about the zombie apocalypse, thank the Jeebus they don't mix... the dreams that is...

Is there something in us ethnic Rust Belt types and our love of the crock pot (and i'm not talking about Map either)

ahh parenting, i'd give advice but i have boys and absolutely no idea what i'm fucking doing, that said the older is projecting out to be bigger than his daddy and even the crazy ones don't pick a fight with a kid who's 6'5 or so, besides i'll teach him to use his reach and his legs for leverage and he'll be fine... and the younger? he won't be as big but will be the one crazy enough to fight the guy who's 6'5

September 4, 2012 at 8:59 PM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

Pat: Herbal harmless might be worth a shot. Thanks for the tip. I thought meditation classes would purge all dark thoughts but, of course, was overly optimistic.

daisy: I know stepping aside and letting the girls hone their problem-solving skills is the smart thing to do but it seems to be against my nature. Thank you for calling my thumb mutant. It was getting a little full of itself and needed to be knocked down a few pegs.

map: It's a trick of the camera lens. There's nothing at all wrong with my thumb. Sorry. Yours is still king of the Island of Misfit Thumbs.

paulo: I have wondered for a long time what she puts in that damn stew to give it its addictive quality. The recipe might contain a narcotic.

Miss Milk: Hello! Believe it or not, that photo was an accident. Pointed my iPhone in a funny angle and presto. Instant classic.

kono: So map is a pot o' crock? Agreed. I like the sleeping supplements. They make it easy. I can see how it's a slippery slope. Do you know nobody really bothered me in high school because my brother was seen as a 'tough.' It's not that anyone thought I was tough by association. They didn't want to deal with him.

September 4, 2012 at 10:52 PM  
Blogger Ponita in Real Life said...

Ever tried sauerkraut on that grilled brat? Now THAT is the best!!! Along with the mustard, of course. :-)

Give Melatonin a try. 5 mg tabs that dissolve under your tongue right as you climb into bed. It's a substance normally produced by your brain to help you sleep, only some times some people don't produce enough. It's cheap, easy to find, nonaddictive and works.

The batshit crazy who makes people laugh would probably work. If not, teach them to totally ignore the bullies. If you don't react, their bullying has no effect. Unless they wallop you, of course, but that's not usually the first step. I'm sure your daughters will be fine. Relax, man!

September 6, 2012 at 10:38 AM  
Blogger Twisted Scottish Bastard said...

I've never used a sleeping supplement. Hot milk with honey and nutmeg always seems to work for me. (Plus the occasional visit from Mr Whisky)

Yes, you will feel a deep and burning anger when your wee one is picked on, but be careful about blaming the father of the bully, he may well be bigger than you, or even a cop. Spending time in hospital or the Penitentiary is not good for family cohesiveness.

Oh, that feeling of entering a private universe is sublime, and got me addicted to books since about the same age. You're doing a great job if your girls have discovered this effect.

We're just moving into Spring down here, so we've got our summer to look forward to, but I don't think our Summers are as hot or as humid as the summer you exprience in NY.

The sausages look great, and I can almost imagine the juices spurting into my beard as teeth break through the semi-charred skin. Glorious. I hope you had a nice cold beer to go with them?

I don't do perspective (although that is a funny photo). My pupils tell me often that I don't have a sense of perspective nor of proportion. This is usually after I've given them a detention for some misdemeanour or other.

September 6, 2012 at 1:50 PM  
Blogger Eryl said...

I rather like those nights when my mind twists and turns, but I don't have to get up and go to work in the morning (in the summer, at least) so it doesn't matter if I don't get to sleep till dawn.

That is some thumb!

September 6, 2012 at 2:17 PM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

Hi Ponita. Long time, no etc. Actually, I HAVE slapped sauerkraut on bratwurst and you're right. It's an enhance. But just a touch. You don't want to overpower the sausage. Will run down to the Duane Reade (ubiquitous NYC pharmacy) and pick up some Melatonin. Will let you know about the non-addictive claim in about two months.

TSB: I am also a big fan of a mug of hot milk with honey. The perfect side dish is a slice of fresh bread with some peanut butter. Smooth. Not crunchy. Then I'm ready for bed. There's one brat left and I'm going to EAT IT when I get home from work. WITH a beer. Glory hallelujah!

Eryl: My thumb isn't actually that big, although I kind of wish it was.

September 6, 2012 at 3:48 PM  
Blogger mapstew said...

'Pot o' crock'? What the fuck is that? Do you mean 'pot OF stew'? You yanks with your O' this and your O' that!

I've been called worse, and have taken it as a compliment. Showbiz eh? We're such whores! :¬)

September 6, 2012 at 8:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's a "pre-fiancee"? Surely you're either engaged or you're not? Or is it some sort of promise to become engaged?

I also have nights where I just can't turn my brain off, even though my body's tired. I can fill endless hours with worry, despite telling myself that there is nothing I can do about the things that are worrying me at 3am.

September 9, 2012 at 4:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is worse is when you have a night mare and it wakes you up. You have to look around to see where you really are because it was so real. Go back to sleep and it picks up where it left off-hate those nights!

September 10, 2012 at 7:10 PM  

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