3 am


Well the last few days have not been easy to say the least. Ever since the start of mom’s visit, I have had some insane insomnia. I think I know why. For one, I am getting no physical exercise – I haven’t wakeboarded in fucking forever thanks to the CFA and perfectly ill-timed bad weather. So there is just no outlet. And for two, my subconscious is trying to fuck with me.

You see, at some point, I think it must have sunk in real good during mom’s trip that either due to my own selectivity issues or the lack of compatible hot men (I jest…) or some other universe conspiracy, I am not getting married for a long time, if ever. And I tell myself that that is fine. It is okay. But maybe on some subconscious level, it isn’t. I don’t mean that in a sad loserly way. It’s just one of those things that nags me (if you continue reading, you’ll see there are other things that nag me too). Some weeks I go without proper sleep because I hate what I do for a living. Oh well. The point is usually this sort of conundrum isn’t easily fixed. My New York insomnia lasted months and had all kinds of weird ticks and triggers (I went without alcohol for 4 months because even one drink would give me migraines, you have to believe me). But the Hong Kong move happened and it was what I needed to shake things into place.

Two nights ago, despite having worked till midnight and being completely exhausted, I was finding sleep as hard to come by as a French person who doesn’t believe that world is just France.
Insomnia is frustrating not only because it is fucking tiresome but also because it is a vicious cycle and even though you know this deeply, you cannot change it because the more you consciously acknowledge this, the worse it becomes. At least this is what insomnia is to me. This, and tossing and turning on trying to find a comfortable position on my ironically expensive mattress and sheets and getting up to pee several times. Insomnia always wins because it is the ultimate “the game” because you lose as soon as you think about it. Curses.
There are two ways to deal with insomnia – fixing the problem which is usually complicated because the subconscious won’t tell you what the fucking problem is which will lead you to create a laundry list and analyse all your problems ranging from “I can’t decide if I am too hot or too cold” to “I think I must look terribly unsexy whilst asleep considering how so much of me is layery pudge” to “will I ever get married” to “do I come across as dumb” and “where do I find chiles to make mole poblano” all of this at 2 a.m…
…and sleeping aid. I always choose the latter because poblano chiles are not, at the time of writing, available in Hong Kong. I take a pill and usually within the next 20 odd minutes, I am guaranteed bliss but it will doubtless end at 8.30 a.m. when I will come to my groggy senses and realize “fuck I am late for work” and then spend the rest of the day being miserable. Why I haven’t bothered to switch to the relatively safer melatonin, I don’t know.
This particular instance, two nights ago, was only slightly different. Because I think it was longer than 20 minutes since I took the pill (but hey who knows?) and I hadn’t fallen asleep and because I talked to someone about it. When I was in New York, I had this luxury though it really wasn’t a luxury as much as it was a painful ironic twist that I would call my boyfriend in Singapore to talk about not being able to sleep when really he was the bleeding cause of it.
But this particular instance, I called my male friend in California. We still don’t have any substantial feelings for each other, I assure you, other than comfort. I recounted how I had lost sleep for two nights over, yet again, are you ready for this shocker, a boy. An Indian boy because meeting these sorts always sends some neuron in my brain into overdrive. “God make this happen, mom would be so pleased” the neuron shouts into my brain. I need to find this neuron and douse it in glue.
My Cali friend did not assure me that the boy would text and he did not give me reasons or interpretations of what the boy’s actions/inaction meant. Instead, he told me not to feel sorry for myself. He said he admired the way I lived and how courageously I did so. He said he could never do the same (maybe that’s a polite way of saying he can’t imagine being as promiscuous as I). More importantly he said that if I didn’t live the way I did, if I didn’t put myself out there, I would be grim and unhappy because I wasn’t being true to myself.
Sounds almost like commonplace advice you think you’d find in self-help books. Almost, except it isn’t; it is exactly what you need to hear at what is by now well past 3.00 am and you are losing sleep convincing yourself that you really need to be with some pedestrian new-to-HK expatriate boy who has some good qualities and several mediocre ones. I really need to raise my standards.
p.s. this fantastic white paper on insomnia is ironically brought to you by Air China whose old-ass plane is currently transporting me to new york sans inflight entertainment and co-sponsored by three horrific boys who sit behind me and shake and kick my seat constantly and by the weird 50-something couple seated next to me that tai-chi in their seats, especially by the lady in the couple who elegantly hacks up phlegm with shocking regularity and just to fuck with me (and presumably to avoid cramping), CLAPS every few minutes, scaring every last hope of sleep from my soul. I did not make any of that up.

3 thoughts on “3 am

  1. I think your Cali friend nailed it here – you're living your life they way you want it to and I don't think you could any other way. I've told u countless times that while it IS nice to have someone, marriage isn't the be all and end all of life. I envy you a lot of the time because you are literally the only person I know from our culture that has bucked the do-good life of settling down and really, truly are living their life in their own terms. Don't feel guilty, stick to your standards and happiness and sleep (!) will come.Have a fantastic NY trip 🙂 xx

  2. Hi Jups, The post though talking about painful insmonia, it is so beautifully written. Now that said, I think our society (read parents) stresses way too much on getting married and not finding the 'right guy'. Unfortunately some of us have crossed the threshold of being happy with just any guy. So, just stick with your standards…if we haven't found the right guy yet…hell yeah there are still some amazing first dates to go on…and to experience the butterflies in the stomach feeling…which you would miss out on had you decided to settle on some random guy! 🙂 It helps to focus on the positives everytime the subconscious mind tries to take over! As for the insmonia, you sure need to show it who is the boss. It can make life a living hell. 😦 Hope you get some sleep, and have a great time in NY. Psst – go shopping! It will give you the needed exercise along with having pretty additions to your wardrobe ;)-G

  3. Siggy – I know you do… sigh.. maybe the grass is greener on the other side. We have to talk soon. I keep saying that. Ping me, I will call you. xxxG, I did shop and NYC was super hectic so I've been sleeping well since the trip (and during, can you believe it? No jetlag!)

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