Might as well write something. Can’t sleep.
You haven’t lived until you’ve been listening to someone watch a film in which they’re prattling along in some non-English language, like a Chinese dialect, and then you can hear the tenor of the voices shift slowly — from conversational, to more intimate, to even more intimate — and then, suddenly, there’s grunting and moaning and orgasmic little yelps amid the Chinese coital chat. Heard while awake, it’s mildly unsettling to outright annoying; overheard while sleeping, it’s grist for some pretty weird dreams. Tonight, though, no foreign-film sexytime; just an English-language movie with lots of loud gunshots. Nice nighty-night sleep tight stuff there, eh?
I fell asleep after work today. Barely made the drive back to the place I’m currently calling home, then meditated, my head repeatedly jerking back from nodding off. When I finished my sit, I curled up on the floor in a fetal position and rested my aching head on my zafu and dreamed that someone walked into my office and I was rocking out to Lionel Richie. I tried to explain something to them, but they just laughed at me.
If you knew me, you’d understand how out of character it is for me to admit to listening to Lionel Richie. Not that he’s bad; he’s just not my preferred flavor of musical vanilla, and I take this omen as something deeply indicative of how out of balance my sleep patterns have become, and thus I have become. The Commodores had some pretty swell funk jams, though. I mean, “Brick House”? That’s the gosh darned bee’s knees.
Speaking of bugs, I was reading today, in the book The Insect Societies by E.O. Wilson, that termites have a rather startling social ritual: “The cellulose diet has left its stamp on the social biology of termites in other ways. Perhaps most importantly, it has bound these insects to symbiotic intestinal protozoans and bacteria. In order to transmit the symbionts, the termites engage in a unique form of anal liquid exchange. It is even possible that the symbiosis was the primary cause of social life in termites in the first place …” (pp. 104-5). I can’t even begin to imagine this one. Anal liquid exchange? It’s like a whole colony of Eric Cartmans, farting and sharing anal fluids via proctodeal trophallaxis and laughing about it: “Kyle, Stan, eat my butt bubble.” I was reading in another book, Ants at Work by Deborah Gordon, that some harvester ants will mix it up in inter-colonial fights, and they will clamp their mandibles, or jaws, around the other ant’s petiole, or waist, and that it isn’t uncommon for one ant to die and leave its head — sans thorax and abdomen, which have dropped off — still clamped hard around the victorious ant’s petiole. Perhaps that’s some kind of ant badge of courage, walking into the ant bar to say “Bitch lost her head, make mine a double” to the bartender. Wonder if the ant gets free aphid hooch all night for that? Yeah, bugs are weird.
Ah, maybe I need some sleep. Pray for me, or something? Think sweet thoughts? —Jackson Griffith