These Are the Small Hours

Photo by Paula Campos on Unsplash

They used to call them the small hours of the morning. 2, 3, 4 am…. small numbers, big eyes.  All night long, I am up and down, rolling over, blankets on, blankets off, unable to sleep.  Brain churning.  Too late?  Too early?  To take a sleeping pill.  Tomorrow–.today is going to be hell.

The talk radio inside my head gets especially loud in the small hours.  I replay scenarios from the day, 10 years ago, my childhood, and ones that haven’t happened yet.  I worry.  I fret.  I’d bite my nails but I gave up that habit decades ago.

What to do?  It always starts with What should I do?  The answer is Damned if I know, but I try nonetheless.  Turning ideas over and over, toying with them, sometimes eviscerating them much like a cat with a half-dead mouse.

That was gross.  I think there’s a mouse in my kitchen.  He comes about now, I think.  Every morning about this time, I hear the cat skittering about the kitchen.  She hasn’t caught him yet.  Caught her?  Whatever.

Does the gender of mice matter?  I suppose it does.  Females multiply but then again they can’t do it without a male.  Two mice? Ten? Am I overrun?

Stop it.

Just stop it.

Rearrange the bedding.  Straighten the sheets and the comforter.  The Dachshund is excited to be out of bed already.  Dismayed when we get back in.

Ratty t-shirt and yoga pants.  There’s a drawer full of pajamas and nightgowns and nightshirts, but here I am in these sad yoga pants and t-shirt.  Comfort clothes, I suppose.

Is that like comfort food?  I could go for a grilled cheese about now.  Made with Velveeta.  Laugh if you want. it makes a superior grilled cheese.  Wheat bread.  A ton of butter.

No wonder my thighs jiggle. I have to lose this weight.  I feel like an imposter. Look in the mirror and wonder who that woman is.

Did I iron my clothes for work? I can’t remember.  Do not get up to check.  Do not get up to check, Do not get up to check.

Yes.  I remember now.  Just after my shower. I hope they fit. It’s going to be a rushed morning.

I could get up now.  3:17.  No.  Too early. 

Roll over and disturb the Dachshund who grumbles then licks my face. Dog Germs!  As Lucy would have said.

I do love my dogs, but they make a mess of my house.  Did I leave them water? Is there water in their bowl?

3:19  I get up and stumble downstairs.  I don’t want to turn the lights on because that will really have me awake.  I have got to get some sleep.

Yes, water in the bowl. 

I could do the dishes. 

That usually puts me in avoidance behavior and a nap, but not today.  3:23 and I’m loading the dishwasher. 

I could mop the floor.  It’s pretty disgusting.

Too much.

I sit on the couch wishing I’d just gone ahead and made coffee.

The dogs sit next to me.

I could go for a grilled cheese. Do I have bread?

I get up to look. 


There goes that idea.  Need to grocery shop. 


Almost 4.  I could go ahead and start my day.  4 isn’t so bad.  Jung said it was the number of completion. 

I get up.  Let the dogs out.  Make coffee.

Sit at my desk.

And write.

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