Going to sleep in summer is complicated. I’m an early sleeper– I go about my day expecting to be in bed by nine-thirty p.m., all wrapped up and comfy, a few seconds from snoring the night away. I eat my dinner, shut my room door, climb into bed. Then, somehow, everything goes wrong.
I keep my window open the entire day and through the canyon of space between the window-frame and the insect-mesh, a few million mosquitoes swarm in. I get up, close the window, nearly die from the stuffiness, open the window, grab an eucalyptus spray, and spend the next few minutes running around like a pest-control officer. Once I’m satisfied and my room smells…pungent, I climb back into bed.
Then I cough a little and a little more until the room is shaking and I realise that the four drops of water I drank today has left me well past a point of dehydration. I get up, go to the kitchen, fill my bottle for the first time that day, drink half of it, sway into my room and face-plant into my bed. I switch off the light and slowly drop off. Everything’s fine until five minutes later all I can think about is drinking water, the aqua-guard, how it rained yesterday, waterfalls, and the price I have to pay to drink said water. It’s past ten o’clock when I squirm and shift my body until the call of nature is overwhelming and I slide– gracefully of course– out of bed and into the bathroom.
I’m on the mattress, it’s my third attempt at getting some eye-shut, and I have a problem. IT’S TOO HOT, but also not really? There’s a perfect balance between the fan speed, blanket coverage and how much of the curtain is drawn. If the fan spins too fast the noise becomes irritating, so I need to substitute the air I would be getting from the fan with the wind from outside. However, the curtain cannot be drawn back fully because in the wee-hours it becomes way too cold. Then, we have our final variable: the blanket.
The blanket is the tricky part: if I completely wrap myself in it, it’s like an oven; but if I get rid of it, it’s cold and not as comforting. It’s now eleven-fifty-six, I have a sixteen page, scaled diagram of my room; I’ve watched six videos about thermodynamics; learnt how to clean my fan in under five minutes; know the hourly humidity levels by heart; and my mom is on speed-dial.
This is the moment where I talk myself out of having an emotional breakdown. I count to ten, watch my breathing— inhale and exhale with purpose and wash my– flaming red– face to try and calm down. At twelve-fifteen, my eyes aren’t even open, I fumble with the door and the light switch for a bit and then my body shuts off. I finally fall asleep, my head hanging off the bed, the blanket is missing and the fan isn’t on because I turned the knob up one too many times.
Walt Wetterberg, November 9, 1957- https://www.saturdayeveningpost.com/2021/10/cartoons-the-fine-art-of-funny/
backhand187, Bh187 Bruce Almighty GIF- https://tenor.com/view/bh187-bruce-almighty-jim-carrey-cant-sleep-comfy-gif-19613792