Sex and Gender

Shitty book holder

I got a new job this year, but I kinda suck at it. Maybe I will get better with age.

One of the many things no one tells you about age — it becomes impossible to sleep. That’s why old people look old. We are the living dead all night.

The wife and I used to fall asleep instantly. We would be deeply unconscious until the multiple alarms and snooze buttons scared us awake. “If I don’t get up now, I’m going to get fired…”

But 35 years later, one of us has to pee at 2 a.m.. The other coughs or sneezes at 2:15. One has an anxiety dream at 3. A jet flies overhead at 4. The neighbor’s dog barks at 4:30…

Guaranteed the other one is awakened by the slightest disturbance in the sleep force. But we pretend. Misery loves company, but when I’m “half awake,” I just want to sleep alone.

I spend mornings doing math. Let’s see – went to bed at 10. Woke up every 10 minutes between 1:30 and 3:30 — so that’s 12 times at 5-7 minutes per time… Average of 5 and 7 is 6. 12 times 6 is 72. Woke up at 4 for about 25 minutes… 72 + 25 minutes is… shit… way more than an hour and a half. If I get out of bed at 7:45, I’ll call it 8 hours of sleep…

Who said you will never use algebra again? LIARS.

By my math, it takes 10 hours to get 8 hours of sleep.

That’s a good night. Most nights I’m awake under my closed eyes for 4-6 hours. If I get up in the middle, there is no going back — until a nap at noon the next day. Can’t do that. I got shit to do. Plus, it just fucks up the sleep cycle for the foreseeable future. Nothing to do but stay flat and wait…

Yes, we have tried exercise, wine, tequila, gummies, CBD, THC, melatonin… all help a little. But there’s no cure for the sleep reaper.

When your birthday was the middle of the last century, you don’t get to really sleep more than 20 years into this one.

We used to love to sleep in. But now if we don’t get out of bed early, our joints seize up. My back aches, my knees pop. My head hurts a little. Must be dehydrated, but I gotta pee — again. What kind of a cruel gawd, dries out your body with age forcing you to drink more while simultaenously enlarging your prostate.

Add that to the list of “Dick moves of the omnipotent“.

We leave Carol Baskins, our half-chihuahua, peering out bewildered — why we would leave a warm bed before 8 a.m. ? She tunnels deeper under the down comforter.

But we are moving — staggering and limping toward the bathroom (again) or the kitchen for the first shot of caffeine. Hot coffee for me, cold Diet Coke for her.

Rinse and repeat night after night.

A new cure

But recently, the wife has added a new wrinkle. (No it’s not bedtime or morning sex — this isn’t a letter to penthouse for seniors).

It’s that god damn Amazon reader thing. When she can’t sleep, she pulls out that electronic pad — old style, black and white version. She tried color, but it was too hard to read.

The black and white print is so big, I can read it from my side of the king bed. If we opened the blinds, our neighbors could see what chapter she is on.

I do not know what kind of halogen headlights they put in those god damn Amazon things, but it shines with the light of a thousand suns.

No cover of blankets or pillows can block its rays. Eyelids are useless in stopping those electrons.

So I roll away, onto my right shoulder and far, far from the light.

She rolls right too, and that’s when my job starts.

Even at a weight measured in ounces, the god damn Amazon thing is too heavy for her to hold. I can feel the corner of it hit the edge of my right scapula, her knuckles fall along the scapula ridge as she leans her hand(s) and the god damn Amazon thing into my back.

A woman pressed a god damn Amazon thing into the back of an old man who is unsuccessfully trying to sleep.  Created by Bing AI. Read the entire story at
This may not be exactly how she holds the god damn Amazon thing, but it’s how the AI thinks it feels. Created by Bing AI image creator.

Trapped. I tell ya. Trapped.

I can’t roll back. I can’t roll forward. I’m not awake. I’m not asleep. I’m holding my frustration at being an underpaid, overlooked book-mount behind my half-closed eyes.

  • If I stir, the wife will know I’m not asleep. She may want to talk. Shit, no one will sleep tonight.
  • If I move, it disrupts her reading, and she may not fall asleep again.
  • If I twitch, she may drop the god damn Amazon thing on the chiweenie’s head. The dog will cry like our second (nonexistent child), and the guilt will keep us awake for hours.
  • If I’m quiet (very, very quiet — like the kind of quiet that Elmer Fudd never achieved) she may fall asleep…

Elmer never caught that rascally rabbit, but I have outlasted the god damn Amazon thing.

I find it dead to the world in the center of the bed at 7 a.m. Lurking between a pillow and the chiweenie. My bookkeeping job apparently ended when we found a few minutes of common unconsciousness….

A good book holder would catch the god damn Amazon thing before it hit the pillow and gently put it on the nightstand. But I’m a shitty book holder, and the odds of me getting better are about the same as both of us sleeping through the night.

7 replies »

  1. Separate bedrooms might help. In fact, some married couples sleep in separate houses. And then there are earplugs, eye masks, sensory deprivation chambers, and an assortment of other sleep aids. But in my experience, the best cure for insomnia is to get a good night’s sleep.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I read from my iPad, especially when I wake up in the middle of the night (pee, drink, cough…all of the above). I need a book holder because dropping that thing on your beak when you finally fall asleep is no picnic (let alone counterproductive to staying asleep), let me tell you. You are doing the work of angels. Good man!



  3. I thought it was only me who needed 10 hours in bed to sleep 6 or 7 hours. I wake up, I pee, the lovely wife snores. If the lovely wife doesn’t snore the 15 year old lab who’s on a doggy bed near the door snores three times as loud for her – and then wakes up and drops multiple turds as he pads his way down the hall to the front door. I then have to get up to let him out, clean up and let him back in. He promptly goes back to sleep. I don’t. I toss, I turn, I get up and pee some more. 6 or 7 hours of sleep? More like 4 or 5! (I’ve been told that erectile dysfunction pills can remedy the peeing during the night. I don’t think the side effects would be worth it.)

    Liked by 1 person

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