A Letter to 4:00 a.m.

Dear 4:00 a.m.,

We need to talk.  This is just not working out, mostly because I think you’re trying to kill me.

Listen, if you would just wake me with dreams of normal things — a ringing telephone, a crying child, that weird falling sensation that makes your whole body jump — I could deal with that.  Afterward, I could breathe a little and slowly fall back into a peaceful slumber.  But, that’s not what you do, is it?  You cold, heartless bastard.  You keep telling me you’re going to change, but I just don’t believe you anymore.  Sure, we have this discussion, and for a couple of weeks – maybe a month – your behavior improves.  But, then it’s right back to you waking me with dreams of ridiculously disastrous proportions.

Massive earthquakes that make my house fall down:

(I do not like this.  Not one bit.)

Airplanes that fall out of the sky (and fall, and fall and fall) when I’m foolish enough to be on board:

I am going to start boarding my dream flights only if the plane is equipped with an ejection seat and a parachute.

Fires and explosions that would make the director of the most frantic of 3-D action flicks jealous:

Hot. So, so hot. And not in a good way.

(And don’t think I missed the angry little eye glaring at me, you sick metaphor-terrorizer.)

Random, shadowy and creepy looking strangers breaking into my house and doing horrible, awful, unspeakable things once inside.

I have a baseball bat! If I find my glasses, you are toast! Toast, I say!

Of course, that’s not enough for you, is it?  You freakish over-achiever.  You add the extra-special effect of making all this stuff happen in real time but you make me move in SLOW MOTION.  I am moving through taffy and melted marshmallow sauce and nasty cobwebs.  I am running, but I’m not going ANYWHERE.  Then you wake me with pain in my chest that feels like a fully-loaded freight train rumbling through my heart, that makes me sweat like I’ve just run four miles in 90 degree weather, that makes my head pound like someone’s been playing a drum solo on it for the last hour.  So, there’s no breathing myself back to sleep, because – you know – I CAN’T BREATHE.  Instead, I have to get up and check the house for fires, cracked walls and boogeymen while you and your 59 friends mock me in full L.E.D. glow.

What did I do to deserve this?  Haven’t I been good to you?  I used to work graveyard shifts for Pete’s sake!  I mean, sure, I tried drinking a little lot before bed sometimes, but I was thinking about you the whole time.  The alcohol meant nothing to me.  And I said I was sorry, dammit.  The next-day hangover was a dick move, Spite-y McSpiterson.

So, you’re gonna need to pack your shit and go.  It is you, it’s not me, and if I don’t get a decent night’s sleep up in here, you and your little mob of minutes are going to find out the true meaning of the crazy that is hormones and sleep deprivation:


But we can still be friends, right?  Sleep well.




11 comments on “A Letter to 4:00 a.m.

  1. gkinnard says:

    Well written. A l-i-t-t-l-e scary, but well written!

  2. Ugh, damn insomnia and night terrors. I’ve been there. Still am, on and off. Sending you sleepy vibes! Sleepy, non-scary vibes!

    • ProfMomEsq says:

      Yes, please send them! I don’t want to sprout a leathery tail!! (Which is funny only if you clicked the link at the end of the post; otherwise, it sounds really weird and creepy. Like my dreams.) I will send happy sleep vibes your way, too.

  3. Heather says:

    I feel ALL of your pain on this subject. I have suffered from nightmares and night terrors my whole life, with no discernable cause or explanation. I wake up at least twice a night from some dream that completely terrifies me. It sucks. Big time. I’m sorry to hear that you go through the same thing.

    • ProfMomEsq says:

      I’m so sorry you suffer from this, too. I’ve had the worst nightmares for as long as I can remember. Sometimes I know what triggers them (like being silly enough to watch a scary movie or read a scary book) and sometimes I have no idea. If I don’t laugh about it, though, I may write the world’s next best horror novel — as an autobiography. 🙂

      • Heather says:

        I used to love scary movies, but I try to stay away from anything like that, or scary books, or lots of violence in general now, just because I don’t want to exacerbate the situation (did I spell exacerbate correctly? Hmm.). I know what you mean about laughing, though, and I agree. I do my best to shake them off and make light of them in the morning.

        Actually funny story: I had a dream once that a rabid dog was about to eat my face off, and woke up just as his jaws were coming at me… and the growl from the rabid dog was still in my room when I woke up. At first I thought maybe it was one of those awful dreams where I wake up IN THE DREAM, but I’m really still sleeping, but no. I was definitely awake, and something was growling in my room. It was too dark to see, and I thought maybe something had happened to one of the cats, but then I realized this was no cat growl. Then, of course, because I’m half-asleep and my mind isn’t working logically, I started thinking about all of these crazy things–what if I brought the rabid dog back with me from my dream? What if we left the garage door open and somehow some rabid animal got in the house (even though this isn’t possible)? WHAT IF IT HAD ALREADY EATEN MY CATS OR ATTACKED MY KIDS? I was freaking out, I was breathing fast… UGH. So I rolled over to wake my husband up to see if he could hear the growl and to make him check it out…….and that’s when I realized it was MY HUSBAND’S SNORING. Yes, that’s right, it was snoring that sounded eerily like a growl. At first I wanted to punch him for scaring me so badly, but then I started laughing out loud and actually woke him up, anyway. We had a good laugh over it and went back to sleep.

        • ProfMomEsq says:

          Oh, that’s a great story. My husband is a snorer, too, so I know of what you speak! I also have been woken from a dream by a sound that turned out to be real, so I can only imagine how much that scared you …

          During my trials with insomnia, my doctor had me try Ambien. About 30 minutes after I took it, I swear to you I saw mist coming out of our walls. When I went to wake my husband (who can fall asleep at the snap of your fingers) to tell him, I could see the hair growing out of his face! I shook him awake and yelled, “You’re turning into a werewolf!” I ended up awake all night watching as many comedies as I could find on cable to make the horrible hallucinations stop. That was the first and LAST time I took that crap. We laugh about it now, though.

          There are also three movies that I cannot think about too much, or the nightmares come back: The Shining, The Ring and The Exorcism of Emily Rose, all of which I was stupid enough to watch at one time or another and each of which gave me nightmares for WEEKS. I also watched a movie once, and I don’t remember the title, but it was about a ghost that was terrorizing a woman. I couldn’t imagine anything freakin’ scarier than an intruder you can’t EVEN SEE! So, that was the end of the scary movies for me. Scary books are completely out of the question, because the shit I can make up in my mind is way, way worse than anything on screen. I learned that lesson after reading the Dead Zone. Never, ever again. Ever.

          Hope the bookcase is coming along! There will be pictures, right?

          • Heather says:

            Oh my goodness–I can’t imagine having hallucinations, too. I’ve always been weird about taking medicine, especially to help me sleep, so I’ve never experienced that. I would have been freaking out.

            The bookcase is technically all finished! Yay! I’m just waiting for the polyurethane to dry completely before I bring it in the house and put books on it. We should be able to do that tonight or tomorrow. I’m very excited! I will definitely be blogging about it.

  4. sj says:

    Go to the store, buy a hat and get ready to hold the eff onto it.

It's boring when I do all the talking around here. Speak now, while you can get a word in edgewise.

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