Monday, November 07, 2005


Washout….that is the word for today. I was experiencing a bit of insomnia last night, and ended up climbing into bed quite late. At 7 AM, I started hearing noises….loud noises—the sound of metal scraping over quartz or granite. I got up to let my dogs out and found that bulldozers and backhoes were already at work at that early hour in the soon-to-be subdivision across the creek behind my house. It angered me that they would be so inconsiderate of the people in this and surrounding neighborhoods that they would start such loud work so early.

A quick phone call to the City of Durham planning department revealed that legally they have the right to work between 7 AM and 8 PM. I explained that I am living with a terminal illness and that my rest is being disturbed. To me, this is a significant issue. Unfortunately, the law is on the side of the developers of this sprawling city.

It soon became apparent that I wouldn’t be able to sleep, despite my white noise machine, so I went ahead and made some coffee and checked my email. Before I knew it, I was involved in responding to various emails and found myself translating work from an Argentine poet, Gabriel Impaglione. I reviewed notes from my first draft translations and made some corrections and then followed that up with correspondence to see if the changes I made were suitable. By the time I was done at 11, I was so exhausted that I turned on my white noise machine and a large fan and went back to bed. I woke up again at 3 PM and then had lunch. An hour later, I was back in bed for another two hour nap.

When I woke up at 6:30, I fed the dogs, had a cup of coffee to fight off the nap hangover and prepared my dinner. Now I am feeling sapped of energy again. This happens from time to time, and I suspect it has to do with either my age, my metabolism, my fatigue level or the 30 pills I take each day. I can't return to bed now because I wouldn't sleep tonight, and I have a bedtime dose of meds to take at midnight. It hasn’t felt like much of a day, but at least I did accomplish a few things.

Most memorably, I awoke from my midday lunch with the sounds of the Mahotella Queens singing "Hey Hey, Mama" from the trailer of the new 1 Giant Leap film. As the music played, I had a last minute dream where I was in a room with a large dining table, and a man and a woman. The woman was exotic, dressed in an African-style moo-moo and she wanted to teach me a dance step to the music that was playing in my head. I watched her bouncing ever so slightly up and down to the music and awoke refreshed and feeling good.

I hope that tomorrow will not bring the start of day with the sounds of development. I have things I want to do, but haven’t been motivated to do so with the fatigue and the sadness over seeing nature scraped away from the face of the earth so near to my home.



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