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ting about what was, when. And so, again: Sleep, A Personal History. MY FATHER'S SLEEP COMPOSITE, I'm pleased (and frankly relieved) to report, holds up just fine, second time through. Even subjected to a skeptic's hair splitting and overzealous hunt for inconsistency and contradiction, it withstands the scrutiny, resists revision, remains intact. Dubby was a man who loved to sleep and given the opportunity did so without fanfare or difficulty. Bravo for him. Nonetheless, Dubby represents only the male side of my formative household. First time through, I shortchanged the female influence. Unconscionable and very ill-advised. Never, in any circumstances, is it a good idea to slight the women. -Particularly when the two women in closest range, my in-house hyper mother and next-door grumpy grandmother, were both chronically sleepdeprived. Several times a week, as I now recall, my mother left bed to sew or iron clothes. An excess of energy, I thought (or was lead to believe). Up with the owls and the roosters, Grandma Dora watched television nonstop. Because she was bored, because she was lonely, I thought. But maybe she simply chose to stare at a television screen instead of a ceiling when she couldn't fall to sleep. From our kitchen window, her black and white portable appeared to be a floating box of flickering light. How could I have forgotten that focus point within rural night? How could I have not remembered Dora, in her rocking chair, perpetually awake and crabby? ANOTHER TELEVISION FLASHBACK. Mom off to her Women's Club meeting, Dad settled in with the newspaper, yours truly planted close, too close, to a broadcast of Walt Disney's "Darby O'Gill and the Little People." Several times I glance over my shoulder to see whether Dubby has lowered the newspaper, hoping he'll be the one to say: "Turn it off. Quit watching that mess. You heard me. Now." But my father keeps reading and I keep watching: filmy banshees, headless coachmen, death dolled up and speeding toward thresholds. By the time my mother returns, I'm not only afraid to go to bed; I'm afraid to leave the living room. Tucked away, that incident, on some higher shelf of memory. But once the rummaging starts, great heaps of the forgotten come tumbling. The Year of the Nightlight, for example. A pink plastic nightlight, its on/off switch a fiery, complementary !08

FUGUE#3 l

Fugue 31 - Summer/Fall 2006 (No. 31)  

The Literary Digest of the University of Idaho

Fugue 31 - Summer/Fall 2006 (No. 31)  

The Literary Digest of the University of Idaho