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My husband is snoring. My bed is too hot and too hard. I steal my favorite pillow and slip to the basement.
I lay down in the guest futon, and bury myself in the fluffy comforter. Bliss. It's dark, cool, and quiet. The old futon, the one I've had since I was single and just moved to Edmonton envelops me in it's old familiar, squishy way, bowed in the middle to cradle me.
Deep Sleep, I tell myself. Deep. Sleep.
I feel my face relax. My mask, the one of worry and consternation I wear so much these days falls away. It isn't until then I realize how tense I am. Feet are still buzzing from the day, but their burden is finished for the night. Aching shoulders unwind. I still feel the twinges, but remind myself to let them settle. I have worked my body hard, and it deserves rest. I deserve rest. I deserve Deep Sleep. I shift, just a little uncomfortable for a moment, and something in my spine pops like a tiny, satisfying firework only I can hear, and I sigh.
I am now in carefully cultivated, floating relaxation.
Thoughts of work drift through my mind. Tomorrow's prep cooking. Coleslaw, mashed potatos...We will have to make Beef and Mushroom Pot Pie, an all day affair. But I let it all slip away. I'm not at work. I'm sleeping. It will be okay. We will get through the day fine. I am able to dismiss my anxieties, let them fade.
My stories dance, and I let them. They will be fuller and richer when I wake. I have learned to trust my vivid, dreaming brain.
Deep Sleep, I gently chide myself. I'm wearing the mask again, and as odd as it sounds, I concentrate on letting go again. One does not notice how much one crinkles her face until she must work to ease it away.
Spartacus Jones comes to press his nose to my head and purr. My mouth drops open, but I don't care. I have successfully dropped the mask, and my comfort is complete.
I'm laying perfectly still, thinking of my father, and the best advice he ever gave me. Just be quiet. Don't get up for a cigarette. Don't get up to watch TV, or clean the house because you can't sleep. Your body needs to be quiet. Even if your mind can't stop, your body has to, and you'll feel better in the morning if you didn't leave your bed.
Eventually I learned to let go, to be at peace with the silence. To suggest to myself the Deep Sleep. To believe myself . To believe in the Deep Sleep.
Deep Sleep. Deep Sleep. Deep Sleep. Say it to yourself until it comes true. Best of luck.