Snooze Button: A Cairn of Consolation

I love naps. In fact, just this morning I took five of them. Each one nine minutes long interrupted by a guitar strumming tune.  The tune reminds me of a middle-aged man walking briskly around a block in red sneakers with arms swinging with great purpose. I swing one arm with purpose and with one eye I attempt to land one finger on a tiny square in the middle of the small screen of my phone. I consider it practice for when I go in for my DOT physical; Before or after or during the “cough” part I am asked to close my eyes and touch my nose with my index finger.

Enter the snooze button. It is a psychological ploy, really, to quell my anger about the elusiveness of enjoying sleep. While sleeping, I don’t appreciate it. Hours of time might as well be thrown by the side of the road. It’s like going to bed with a flux capacitor tucked under my armpit and the theory of relativity sitting like a glass of water on the night stand. I wake up hours later as if it were a moment. So, Mr. Snooze Button is a cairn that I tap on as a remembrance of something I deem as enjoyable. Each strumming jolt of my consciousness is pushed down to repress my anger about sleep’s illusion.

Maybe sleep is a myth. How do I really know that I have slept? My wife would assure me. She would. It would sound something like this:

“This is the scoop Jerry.

If ever I needed to listen to my wife it is when she says ‘this is the scoop’.

You want to know if you slept? Come on, does drool flow down? Does snoring rattle the pictures on the wall? Does twitching leave these bruises on my calves? I have been beside you in the night watches for 26 plus years and I will find a notary to sign an affidavit. You have slept and “while you were sleeping” I would often pull out our wedding vows to see if between the lines there might be a flaw that would aid in my exit strategy. But I decided to let a sleeping Barrett lie. I like you when you are awake, mostly, so I will continue these sleepovers O.K?”

I love naps.


My apnea upends my wife’s dreams.

Loud, German guttural sounds of snoring

abruptly halt and she wakes to wait.

Her breathing deepens with her anxiety.


My dreams continue, although I know not.


Maybe I am at the lake with the kids

pretending to be a sturgeon weaving

low and without a wake.


Maybe I am driving through Gary Indiana

while it sleeps under absent stars.


Maybe I am in New Delhi walking with a slum-dog

to his bedroom in the wastelands.


Maybe I am back with my drug delusional father

dying of emphysema and I didn’t walk out.


Maybe God took my breath away to take me

to secret places beyond this nightly death.


My airways open again and deep draughts

stretch the two life-giving sacks.

My wife is once again lulled to sleep

by my edgy bilingual breathing.



© Gerald Allen Barrett and parentheticallyspeakingin3d, 2012.