I don’t think my father slept for more than fours hours at a time in his adult life. I remember playing a gig at the Rex Hotel in Toronto and didn’t get to his house, where I was staying, until two or three am. We were to drive to a cottage near Maniwaki, Quebec the next day around seven and he awoke me at five and asked if I was ready to go.
When I asked him how he was doing sometimes, he’d say he was tired. I would ask why and he’d say he was born tired. I don’t know if it was stress. I don’t know if he had nothing but bad dreams. I don’t know if he was simply anxious to get things done.
I’m starting to know the feeling. I don’t sleep anymore. I do at times but not like a normal person. I awake from dreams and think I live in a world that doesn’t exist. Sometimes I look at my phone and see it’s three but I don’t know if it is am or pm.
It’s not healthy.
Even if we live seventy-five years, we should be asleep for twenty-five. Think about that. Being asleep for twenty-five years. It’s sort of mind-boggling.
But at some point, some of us have so little rest that there is no restoration. For whatever reason. Stress. Haunted by our ghosts. Health. Or just an aversion to the dreams that haunt us.
I used to think my dad’s sleep habits were really odd. I get it now.
Being asleep doesn’t comfort me the way it used to. When your subconscious mind affords you less comfort than your waking one, sleep can be more a curse than a blessing.