GHOSTS AND INSOMNIA
During the day I can often be found toiling in my basement office at the do-gooder agency that employs me. I don’t mind working in the basement, though I did look wistfully out the window above my head on each of the three sunny days we’ve had in Seattle this year. But yesterday a staff member who had come downstairs to avail herself of the fax and/or copy machine said, “I wouldn’t want to work down here with the ghosts.”
“You mean that tinkling noise? That’s just the bell on Charlie’s collar,” I said. (Charlie is the cat on staff.)
“No,” she explained, “the basement is haunted.” It’s a health care agency, and people have died there. For some reason, their souls have seen fit to hang around the basement rather than ascending to the heavenly light of the first floor.
After she took her papers hot from the copy machine, I walked around the basement. I inspected the walls and corners for signs of protoplasmic residue. I opened all the drawers in the filing cabinets, to see if any entities were hiding in there. I examined the carpet for tell-tale footprints appearing where no one walked. All I found were the remains of Charlie’s morning catnip.
Upon further inquiry, I learned that some of the night staff dislike coming to the basement because that’s when the ghosts show up. No wonder I couldn’t find them. But I can’t figure out why ghosts would have a time-of-day preference. Once you’re dead, what difference does the Earth’s position relative to the sun make?
Since I’m not there at night, I cannot verify the ghost story.
But did I tell y’all I’m going to be rich? See, I’ve discovered the cure for insomnia.
Stay up later.
Seriously, it works. I used to labor under the delusion that human beings such as myself required eight hours of sleep at night. I dutifully went to bed at 11 pm and tried to go to sleep. Note: trying to go to sleep is a euphemism for tossing, thrashing, turning, twitching, sipping water, getting up to pee, and mentally racing through the events of my day, the anticipated events of the next day, the traumas of my childhood, the anticipated traumas of my old age, and painstakingly envisioning every conceivable outcome of every possible permutation of the actions I once took, planned to take, wished I had the guts to take, or were taken on my behalf.
In other words, I didn’t sleep.
But I’ve given up on the eight hour delusion, and now I no longer have insomnia. I stay up until I am so exhausted I can barely pull my pj’s on, and then I pass out. Problem solved.
So, since I’m up, I’m thinking about staking out the basement at my workplace. If I got a good ghost picture and sold it to the National Enquirer, that plus the proceeds from my insomnia cure would make me very rich indeed.