“Take a deep breathe in and slowly let it out. Another deep breathe, another slow exhale. Let your mind drift. Listen to the soft sounds of the ocean and feel at peace. You are now asleep…”
No, Arianna thought, I am definitely not asleep. This stupid CD that she’d bought wasn’t working at all. The Songs from the Sea were only making her have to pee.
She turned over and flipped her pillow. She rearranged the covers and tried to snuggle yet further into her mattress. She tried to stop thinking. That only made her think about how she wasn’t supposed to think.
Ok, I’m just going to lie here with my eyes closed and try not to move, she thought. Great, now her nose was itchy. Should she itch it? Itching it would mean moving; not itching it was likely to drive her insane. She scratched nose.
The lapping of waves on a distant seashore could still be heard. She tried to stay still and just ignore them. Who ever thought that moving water was relaxing was a moron. Forget this! Arianna sat up, threw off the covers and climbed out of bed. She punched the stop button so hard with her index finger that she bent her nail. Ow, that hurt!
Perhaps a different CD would help. Maybe the Melodies of a Meadow would put her out? Or should she try the Prairie Winds? What was it about nature that made people feel sleepy? A meadow was probably full of squabbling birds and buzzing insects. And wind howled across the prairies didn’t it?
Silence! Silence was said to be golden, right? No more sea songs or meadow melodies or windy grasslands; just quiet. Peaceful tranquility; serene calmness… placid quintessence? Arianna stretched out her arms, rotated her shoulders and cracked her neck. She climbed back into her bed and went through the ritual of straightening the covers and plumping her pillow all over again.
She stared at the ceiling; she counted imaginary sheep; she even tried to think about air as it moved around the room. Nothing worked and sleep never came.
Why can’t I fall asleep? A baby can fall asleep. In fact babies sleep for most of the day. Good people sleep; bad people sleep. Short people and tall people; all people sleep.
WHY CAN’T I SLEEP?!!!!
Arianna did not have a stressful day planned for tomorrow. Scratch that, tomorrow was in a couple of hours. She wasn’t scared or concerned or lovelorn. She had no big announcements or events anywhere in her near future that she was aware of. All the normal reasons for someone to be unable to sleep did not seem to apply to her. This lack of sleep was reasonless. Wait, is reasonless actually a word?
ARG! This was ridiculous. At long last, Arianna gave up on sleep. Work started in only four hours and it was obvious that she would not be getting any sleep tonight. She reached over and turned on the bedside lamp. She braced her pillows up against the headboard and sat up. Grabbing her book from the bedside table, she nestled into her pillows and opened the novel to chapter seven.
Three hours later, the awful sound of her alarm clock going off woke Arianna from a deep, dreamless sleep. Looking down at the book still clutched in her hands, she read the words Chapter Eight.
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