Thursday, April 6, 2017

DRIVING NAKED OR WHY I DON’T TAKE AMBIAN





I have suffered from intermittent insomnia for years.  Oh, don’t get me wrong I can fall asleep easily, I don’t obsess or have racing thoughts, nope falling asleep is not my issue.  I am not saying I don’t have issues believe me I have issues about my issues but falling asleep is not one.  I do however have a terrible time staying asleep.  Most people go into REM sleep and then they pass on over into Beta sleep which is that deep restful sleep.  Not me.  I go into REM sleep, jerk and I am awake.  Sometimes I can fall back to sleep but most of the time I spend the rest of the night tossing and turning willing myself to fall back asleep. 

Years ago, my doctor sent me to a sleep clinic.  They attached electrodes to my head and wrapped chords around my body and then told me to go to sleep.  I mean what could be more restful than being trust up like a Christmas goose and told to sleep.


Nope, no pressure there.  I tried to sleep.  I turned this way and squiggled that way until I finally dozed off just enough to have that falling off a curb feeling.  I jerked awake and that was all there was to sleep for the next eight hours.  When the test was over and the doctors all converged watching the video, examining the EEG and the EKG and the ABC’s of my night they all came to the conclusion all I needed was a good sedative.  Low and behold there was a brand new one on the market.  Everyone was talking about it.  Drug reps were handing them out like Tic Tacs at a garlic festival. 



I happily filled my prescription in anticipation of a good night’s sleep.  I celebrated by going to bed early.  I fell asleep quickly and remembered nothing until I awoke in my backyard.  It was the middle of the night and I was standing in the middle of my backyard, in the middle of winter, naked.  I had pajamas on when I fell asleep but here I was wide awake in my backyard without a stitch.  I made my way back in the house found my pajamas wadded in a pile on the floor of my kitchen, the refrigerator wide open and the water running.  I thought, hum that’s odd.  Someone broke in my house raided my refrigerator and left the water on.  I checked the locks after I dressed secured the house once again headed off to bed.  I tossed and turned wondering what in the hell had happened that I would tear off my clothes venture into my yard wearing nothing but my birthday suit.   The next morning, I felt like I had been on a ten-day Tequila bender.  I pulled myself together and drove the sixty miles to my office. 

I continued to take the sedative hoping and praying that it would put me to sleep like that woman on the Sominex commercial, sleep, sleep Sleep.  Each night I would wake in some form of undress in either a closet, the kitchen or one time standing in the shower.  I spoke to my physician about the sleep walking and she told me it was one of the side effects of Ambien, that some people had complained of sleep eating, but that I shouldn’t worry and the side effects would eventually go away.

 

Then it happened.  The reason I will never take a sleeping pill again.  It was a night much like any other.  I got the munchkin in bed, completed my nightly routine then snuggled down in my bed for hopefully a night of sleep.  I fell asleep easily enough.   I slept.  I slept soundly.   I slept soundly until I awoke in front of my office door.  Standing in front of my office door that was sixty miles from my house in the dark of night.  I was standing in front of my office door sixty miles from my house NAKED.  Not a stitch.  I was letting it all hang out.  I was airing out the laundry.  I looked around and luckily not a soul was around.  I ran to my car and popped the trunk and like Eve I began searching for something to cover my nakedness.  I found a rain poncho and some work-out pants and quickly put them on. 

About that time a police car drove up.  The officer rolled down his window and smiled and asked if everything was all right.  WAS EVERYTHING ALL RIGHT?   No, it wasn’t all right.  I had driven sixty miles in the middle of the night ASLEEP!!  Not only was I asleep but I was NAKED and asleep. 


I still don’t sleep.  I still suffer from intermittent insomnia.  I do not take any kind of sedative.  

I told the doctor what happened and she paused then replied "Well I wouldn't take that anymore if I were you."  Thanks Doctor Obvious. 

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

SHE ISN'T MY DOG

She isn’t my dog.  Really she isn’t.  She smells like death and can barely walk.  Good thing she isn’t my dog. 

I first met her about eleven years ago.  Her coat was a shiny black and her eyes were bright.  She ran to greet me and guide me to a dinner date.  It was the first night I had dinner with Kahuna’s family at their house.  She was just a big black bouncy Labrador mix happy to greet me.  I exited my car and she immediately got up close and personal.   When I say up close and personal I mean snout in the crotch personal.  A kind of how do you do let me record your smell in my mind so that I will always know it’s you.  She was an outside dog then.  She ruled ten acres of rough Southern California desert terrain with an iron paw.  Her name was Nikki and she was the alpha dog and she isn’t my dog.
That first night I knew I liked her.  She was bright, attentive and definitely had a mind of her own.  I hoped she liked me back.  She must have because on subsequent visits to Casa de Bruno she brought me presents like squirrels, lizards, tarantulas and once a pig’s head.  Yes, a pig’s head.   We think someone must have buried a pig in the ground for a Luau and she dug it up.  What a surprise they had when they dug uptheir succulent pig and found it  uncovered and headless.   Good thing she isn’t my dog.


So began our relationship.  Pretty soon I became part of the family and she became a bigger part of my life.  She protected me when I was home alone.  This was usually done by me bringing her into the house at night because of the coyotes.  I would make her a bed of old blankets on the floor and tell her to stay.   She would wait until I was fast asleep and sneak over to the sofa where I would find her  in the morning stretched out, all four feet in the air snoring.  We played this game of no no/yes yes.  I would tell her no and she would ignore me and do whatever she pleased.  I saved scraps of meat and bones for her and she in returned gave me companionship, security and unconditional love.  Good thing she isn’t my dog.



Years have passed and we moved away from Casa de Bruno into the suburbs where she can no longer run free range.  She has become a house dog.  She has spent the last six years languishing in the cool indoors watching television and waiting for her walks where once again she is allowed to run like the wild animal she dreams she is.  She lies as close to me as she can get as she does others.  She needs human contact now.  She wants to know she is safe, secure and has a companion.  Now she struggles to go on her walks, some days she only runs in her dreams.  Good thing she isn’t my dog.
Her muzzle is grey and there is a large cancerous growth below one eye.  Her body is lumpy and she smells bad.  She is banished to a corner of the kitchen where if she has an accident it is easily cleaned.  She watches every move we make and wags her tail happily when paid the slightest of attention.  Good thing he isn’t my dog.





I know her days are numbered.  Soon she will cross the rainbow bridge where she will once again chase squirrels, antagonize bunnies and dig up pig heads.  She will be free from the constraints of her corner in the kitchen and of the pain.  My heart is breaking as I watch her hobble to her spot  and she turns those big dark eyes no longer shining up at me as if to say I’m okay right here as long as I’m close to you.  Good thing she isn’t my dog because I can’t imagine my heart breaking any more than it is.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

THINGS THAT GO BUMP IN THE NIGHT

The smell of Sulphur was strong in the room.  A faint light illuminated the doorway and outlined the shadow standing there.  A bubbling, sucking noise surrounded her and the weight on her chest was excruciating.  She was half asleep but also half awake.  She struggled to move but found herself completely paralyzed.   Eyes finally adjusting to the dim light she was able to make out the figure who sat on her chest.

She gasped for air as the grotesque figure bent low as if to kiss her.  She tried to fight but he must have put some kind of spell on her for she could not move, not one muscle.  It was a chore to breath.  The little creature moved  pinning her shoulders with its claw hands and slobbered hungrily.  He snarled and breathed his Sulphur breath on her face and made a snorting sound.
From the corner of her eye she could distinguish the other creature moving toward her.  Her panic was so intense she emitted a silent scream.   Both creatures chortled their screeching laugh and moved in closer. 

She knew what this was.  She had experienced this before.  They were here to suck the soul from her.  They would each take a turn to give her that depleting kiss of death.  They were here to take from her all she had and leave nothing but a shell.  She could not move, could not fight them off.   

They were the things that come in the night while we are in our dream world.  They creep from bed to bed looking for their next meal, their next soul to consume.  We never see them, nor do we know they are there because we are paralyzed in our sleep sinking deeper into the abyss of our dreams.  Every once in a while, though, we will be in the in-between and that is when we spot them.  We see them hanging over us, taste testing our soul to judge if it is ready for harvest.   It is at this time we are most vulnerable.   We cannot defend ourselves nor can we cry out for help, they have us captured.
She steeled herself for what would come next.  


The last time they had visited they had both taken a taste and deemed her not quite ripe.  She tried to pull away as the second creature leapt to the head of the bed and caressed her hair.  Bending low staring into her eyes it sniffed her face, stuck a tongue in her ear.  She wanted so much to cry out and pull away but her body would not cooperate.  Was this really the end?  Was she ripe for harvest?  Was her soul ready to be drawn from her body to energize these gargoyles?  NO! Her brain screamed.  GET OFF OF ME!   LEAVE ME ALONE!

Her heart pounded and her chest ached with each labored breath.  Her eyes wide open she watched as they debated, gesturing with their long talon fingers.  The one at the head of the bed insistent the other less sure.  Little by little she could feel her body being freed.  She kicked her legs and tried to sit up to shake the creature from her but she was still bound by his weight.  She felt a spec of spit it her cheek and looked as the creature at her head shook its head and motioned to the other.  In a flash they were gone, the weight lifted from her chest and her body was returned to her.  She jumped from the bed panting and pacing.  She had been spared yet again. 


That is when Gladys swore she would never eat Mexican food after seven o’clock at night again.  

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Gladys Gets Assy

You know those days you get dressed and you just know you look cute.  Shut up!  I know I’m old but I can still look cute.   You stand in the mirror and your make-up looks just right and not at all like a drag queen or a clown.  Not that there is anything wrong with looking like a drag queen.  I myself wish I could look that good. 

  Clowns are a different thing altogether.  Clowns are evil.  They are.  If you don’t believe me call Stephen King and ask him.  By the way, if you call Mr. King could you then call me and give me his number cause, I mean after all, he is Stephen King and who wouldn’t want to talk to him. 
  I digress.

I was talking about how cute I looked.  I looked Pinterest cute.  I looked fashion blogger cute.  You know, one of those  Fab over Fifty or Fifty something Fashionistas or some such something blogger where every day they post a picture of the cute clothes they found at J. Jill or Lord and Taylor.  I guess I could do one of those post, only I would be over here in my Target top and my Payless Shoes with my Goodwill  jeans and my EBay purse.  Can we say I am a frugal shopper? 

Love the outfit but couldn't afford the sand in her shoe.

 Again, I digress.

I was feeling all cute and sassy in my skinny jeans cuffed at the ankles with my cute little red and white polka dotted top and a cute sweater to top it all off.  I even put on jewelry and finished off the ensemble with a pair of retro Keds.  Remember when you were a kid and you got a new pair of Keds?  Oh MAN!  You were in high cotton, sporting those bright white tennis shoes all new and pretty.  Then at the end of summer they were all grey and stained with holes in the toes from stopping your bike with your feet.    Yeah those were awesome days.   Again I digress.
 

So here I am with this cute outfit and my hairs all done up pretty because my friend Lola had just cut them and styled them all pretty.   My make-up was looking good and I felt good.  I mean really good.  I was going out on the town in my cute outfit good.  Now let me just say that my going out on the town is probably not what you think.  My going out on the town is more I’m gonna go to the grocery store and if I’m feeling really daring maybe even stop in at the thrift store, good.  So here I am feeling all good about myself and my outfit so I hop in my little car and head out. 

Growing up we called it going to town.  My momma would grab her keys and put on her Ray Ban sunglasses, fluff up her bouffant hair and with a Virginia Slim between her lips yell “Y’all come on we’re going to town to get groceries.”  We all went with her because my brother would push the cart over while careening down the aisles at breakneck speeds making race car noises while my sister and I ran screaming at the top of our lungs “he’s trying to kill us or worse”.  My mother would beat on him with whatever she had in her hand and scream “you kids better knock this shit off or I’m gonna beat you in front of GAWD and everybody!”  This must have been relaxing for her because she continued to take us.  Again, I have gotten off the subject.  Shut up!  This is my story and I’ll tell it how I tell it.

Because I was looking so cute and feeling good; I decide to go to an estate sale that just happened to be on my way to the grocery store.  I pull in front of a very pleasant house with ten gazillion cars out front, a big sign that read ESTATE SALE, and one of those fly guy dancing things out front.  I decide this indeed must be the estate sale advertised.  I enter the front door and notice the house is full of big heavy furniture, much too big and heavy to fit in my little car, so I peruse the multitude of books on a shelf.  I determined from the look of the house and the contents of the walk-in closet, that a woman had lived in the house alone.  There were no masculine accoutrements, or where I come from acootermints, to be seen.  Her taste in clothing and furniture were different than mine so I moved on to the kitchen where one of the estate sale clerks stood making sure no one made off with the silverware or the 5000 bottles of vanilla extract.  I made polite conversation with the woman who seemed pleasant enough and told me how cute I looked, I told her it was my new favorite outfit.  I commented that the owner must have been a single woman.  When I mentioned the owner of the merchandise the clerk immediately genuflected and then spat “She was a WITCH!”  Well of course I was gob smacked. 

“A Witch?” asked I.

“A WITCH!” she spat as she again made the sign of the cross.

“Did she turn you into a newt?” I responded skeptically. (you see where I was going with this, right?)

“What?  A newt?  NO!  Didn’t you see all those books on her book shelf?” the worker barked and again crossed herself.

I told her I had indeed seen the Edgar Cayce, MarianneWilliamson and Byron Katie books but told her that didn’t make the woman a witch.  It just made her enlightened.   Again the woman made the sign of the cross and explained that there were OTHER books.  She whispered  “books about harnessing the light and celebrating mother earth and the Goddess Within.”
 
I leaned over in a loud whisper  “WELL I’M NOT BUYING THAT BIG SCREEN TV, SINCE YOU SAID IT HAD A CURSE ON IT” and then walked out the door.  I had planned to go back the next day and see if the TV I wanted was still there at a reduced price because of, well, you know, the curse.  

Stay with me.  I promise this story is going somewhere.  Maybe not where you wanted it to go, but it is going somewhere.


I left the sale and headed  across town still 100% convinced I was the cutest fifty-something out on the town.  I headed to the used book store where again I perused the shelves on a quest to reacquaint myself and my granddaughter with Mr. Potter and the rest of the Hogwarts group.  I was up and down and squatting and moving, shifting and turning and finally found one of the Potter books for a dollar!  A DOLLAR!  What a coup!  I got in the car and excitedly texted Tadpole.  Then I realized, I had bought the same book the day before.  I had two of the same book!  Oh well a grandmother can never have too many Harry Potter books.   The good thing was I still had on my favorite jeans and I still looked cute. 


Why don't they keep the covers consistent?  

I entered the grocery and again there was much squatting and stretching and reaching a kvetching as I pulled the gluten free macaroni from the top shelf and fetched the dried chick peas from the bottom shelf.  Have you ever wondered why they put the chick peas on the bottom shelf?  Is it because no one really knows what to do with chick peas or in fact what they really are.  I finish my shopping and head to my favorite cashier who always has a smile on her face and a sarcastic remark.  She is my kind of happy.  Anyway the first thing she did was comment on how cute I look.  I beamed with pride and told her it is my new favorite outfit. 

I carried my groceries to the car again bending and stretching thinking how much I love my jeans that move with me.  When I returned to the cart to the store a really nice man was collecting money for homeless veterans and let me ask you is there any better cause to contribute to?  I certainly think it is a very worthy cause.  As I fished out my change from my purse the nice man commented on how cute I looked.  I beamed and told him it was my new favorite outfit.  I was feeling especially fashionable,  I strutted like a super model back to my car. 

Back at home I unloaded the bags and deposited them on the counter.  Stretching, bending and squatting I shelved the newly bought vittles and began cooking the evening meal.  I was still feeling especially spiffy in the cutest outfit in the world, when Kahuna came home.   He spun me around and gave me a kiss.  He looked me up and down and said “That is a really cute outfit, but did you know you have a big hole in your jeans?”

I immediately took stock of my jeans “where?” I cried.

Right here motioning to the ass of my jeans.  The whole right cheek of my jeans was completely gone.  I am not talking about a little pinhole or even one of those new holes that really isn’t a hole cause it’s got material underneath but looks like you’ve worn the ass out of your jeans.  I am talking the right down to your drawers hole.   

I had gone all over town with my ass hanging out all day.   Maybe that estate sale was cursed or maybe that was why I found the jeans at Goodwill.