The Wide Angle: The late night stresses of not sleeping

Published 5:15 pm Tuesday, April 9, 2024

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A lot of things can go through my mind during the listless hours of the morning. Those dark, secluded moments where there is just you and sounds of a settling house uttering grievousnesses of old bones.

Heavy questions like where do we come from? Where do we go when we die? Why is my cat just sitting on the dresser staring at me?

These are the questions that keep me up at night, that cause me to wonder about the purpose of our fleeting time on this planet. They are also the questions of doubt that keep me turning from side to side.

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Often I’m plagued by these thoughts of self doubt while struggling to find the strands of sleep that abandon us at times like these. Of course, that’s far too dramatic of a sentence for questions that leave us wondering whether or not I left something on and if it’s worth the risk of the fire department coming to our home at 4 a.m.

This was the case during the bleak hours of Saturday morning. Some backstory.

When I’m done putting our papers together on Tuesday and Friday nights, I have to compile them into one document and then uploading them to an ftp server. This, in turn, is what makes up the e-edition you receive early on Wednesday and Saturday mornings.

It’s a simple procedure hampered by those self-doubts that come up and asking my inner-self whether I’ve actually done that very thing.

I have to admit that I have forgotten about this from time to time, which leads to the inevitable inner arguments that come along regarding the question of sent pages.

We all have these arguments with ourselves and nine times out of 10 we always find a way to win these arguments with ourselves … in as much as you can win an argument with yourself.

It starts like it does so many other nights    with that feeling of being watched — by a cat.

Wakefulness comes slowly like the dawn at around 3:45 a.m., as the light of thought quietly creeps along the landscape of the blissful mind. In this case it’s, “did I send the pages?”

That question is followed by a very confident, “Yes you did.” Satisfied, I roll over and try to regain sleep, even as the cat drills holes in the back of my head from the dresser.

But the questions crawl back like a spider over a web.

“Did I, though?”

“Yes. The dialog window was up and I was staring at the file.”

“But did you pull the file across to the server?”

“I’m sure I did. I just got done with my sandwich; a tasty ham and turkey with pepper jack cheese and plenty of mayo along with …”

“Stay on topic please.”

“Right! On topic.”

“So did you transfer the pages?”

“Maybe … yes, of course I did. I always do … but?”

“But what?”

“I can’t say for certain that it was there when I turned my computer off.”

“Maybe we should go over to the Herald and double check.”

“But it’s 3:50 in the morning!”

“You’re right. I’m sure we did this thing that we can’t remember.”

“I hate you.”

“‘I hate me’ I think is what you meant to say.”


At 4 a.m. I’m pulling into the Herald lot wondering if I’ll walk out facing a bevy of cop cars thinking I’m breaking into the place. It’s not a worry necessarily, but I know a lot of cops and walking out of the Herald dressed in mis-matched sweatpants, hoodie and hair everywhere is just the kind of thing they will remind me of later.

Either way, you’ve probably guessed what I found. Yes, I did unify the pages. Yes I did send them to where they needed to go. No, I did not get back to sleep for another 45 minutes once I got home.

And seriously cat, why are you still staring at me!