The Fat Lady Hums

A typical digital 12-hour alarm clock showing ...
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I am historically a sound sleeper: putting out delta waves by 3 minutes past personal lights-out at nine-ish and fully awake without any alarming clock a few minutes before 4 a.m.– every day, weekends, holidays, no matter. Yessir, I have generally had good sleep hygiene. Her, not so much.

So when I entered my 5th or 6th night in a row of anxiety-ridden wakefulness at 2, I took some of her regular bedside Melatonin and after another hour of wide-eyed rehearsal of the entropy of my life, dozed off to sleep and was still soundly in that state when the usual wake-up hour rolled by, pleasantly groggy during what should be my most alert morning work zone. After a few nights running, the drugged sleep cycle must be broken.

Last night, I slept like a baby, seven hours straight, no meds, no unsettling dreams.

I would like to think (and in fact must have subconsciously believed last night) that we have come to an end of the dozens of recent entries into the “What Could Possibly Go Wrong” journal. Maybe the storm has passed.

And while she hasn’t clasped her pudgy little hands to her ample bosom to begin her soprano aria, I hear her gargling back-stage, humming, warming up. Soon she will cut loose.

Or at the last minute she will choke on a final bite of Twinkie like Mama Cass.

What could go wrong? You wouldn’t believe….

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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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