Posts Tagged ‘J. K. Galbraith award’

Sleepless in Nanaimo

November 4, 2009

Counting sheepTwo weeks ago I mentioned that my short story “The Insomniac” had received the J.K. Galbraith Literary Award. People have been coming forward to offer congratulations (thanks for that) – and also to suggest tips about overcoming insomnia!

I welcome the advice, as I have never been a sound sleeper. One of the most inventive tips was suggested by my neighbour, Margaret. She maintains that you can help yourself fall asleep by touching your thumb to your index finger, and holding it there. Who knew? Crowing roosterApparently she does this nightly, and the next thing she knows, the cock is crowing. (Yes, we have a rooster in our vicinity.)

Thumb&fingerI tried out this new remedy the other night, and immediately realized I should have asked for more information. I couldn’t remember if my index finger was my pointer finger or my ring finger. I didn’t want to wake Kayak Guy from his kayak dreams to ask him which one was my index finger – he can get testy about things like that – and I hated to turn on the light to look it up in the dictionary.  So I decided to cover all bases by touching my thumbs to both my pointer and my ring fingers. I can confirm that this feels awkward. But then I got to thinking maybe it only felt awkward because I was doing it wrong. After all, I am a klutz.

I thought about calling Margaret, but it’s hard to dial without full use of your fingers. Plus, she was probably doing it right, and was already asleep. So I cannot, at this time, endorse the “thumb-index finger” insomnia-prevention technique. (If anyone has any better ideas, we insomniacs are all thumbs – I mean, all ears.)

Jumping sheepI can say with certainty that the renowned “counting sheep” technique has never helped me get any shut-eye. Especially not lately. Whenever I picture those bleating little beings launching their woolly little bodies over fences, I always picture them landing– and getting themselves all muddy in the barnyard.

Which gets me thinking about other barnyard critters. Like pigs. Which these days reminds me of swine flu. Which makes me wonder if I have already, somehow, come into contact with the H1N1 virus. Are flu molecules already attached and even now replicating in my nasal passages? Wide-eyed pigThey are. I can feel the itching! Is my throat beginning to hurt, just a little, toward the back? I think it is. It definitely is! Now my pulse is racing. Elevated pulse – is that a sign? It IS a sign: a sign that I am, once again, sleepless in Nanaimo –  and now, perhaps, another victim of the dreaded swine flu.

Anyone got tips for overcoming insomnia? (No barnyard-related remedies, please.)

© Judith Millar 2009. All rights reserved.