Friday, April 26, 2013


Dear Temple,
I hope this note finds you well and happy. I thought I would write you in the morning instead of the evening and see if anything goes differently. So far it feels the same. I don't know what I was expecting, but it never hurts to change mundane things in your routine - if for the only reason to prove to people you're not in a rut. You can shout, "Look I'm spontaneous!" - but planning for spontaneity defeats the purpose. You've found that you're not doing anything differently, just shuffling the same scheduled events. You're still in your rut.
See, Temple? I've proven that I can make myself depressed with the same deft skill in both the a.m. and the p.m.
Anyway, I haven't been sleeping very well lately and I'm not too sure why. I was getting to bed very late and still getting up before the sun. Your Aunt Crystal was kind enough to suggest trying to get back on a regular sleep schedule and I agreed. So I went to bed at ten and woke up at two in the morning. Let me tell you Temple, it's better to go to bed late and wake up at the normal time, then to go to bed on time, but wake up way early.
A couple days ago your Aunt Crystal suggested I take a pill that would help me sleep. "Never!" I said. If you know me, Temple, you know that I don't like to take medicine of any kind. It's not that I don't believe in the science of medicine or that pharmaceuticals can help me recover from illness, it's just that I don't like too.
I think it had something to do with when I had some minor surgery done several years ago. I was given some liquid hydrocodone to help with the pain while recovering. I found that I was a bit allergic to the medication and was promptly switched, by my doctor, to ibuprofen and something else. This medicine made my stomach feel terrible, so I did the optimal thing only a sane person would do. I said, "&*$#@!", Flung the bottles across the room, and just dealt with the pain.
I'm sure your Aunt Crystal looks back on this little segment of our lives fondly.
Anyway, I knew sleeping three or four hours a night really isn't enough for a person and I rationalized that your Aunt Crystal may be right - that the pill may help me get back on a regular sleeping schedule.
I went to bed at ten and took the sleeping pill. I lay in bed, waiting for the drugs to work. Your Aunt Crystal made me stop singing, "Hey Mr. Tambourine Man." I fell asleep, slept the whole night and had to be woken up the next morning at 6:30 to help with the kids. It was nice getting all that sleep, but I felt terrible the next day I felt groggy and slothful. We rationalized that maybe it was because I hadn't slept much at all lately over the past couple weeks and getting a good night's rest made my body want more. I took another pill the next night and had the same grogginess the next day.
I stopped taking those sleeping pills. Two nights was enough for me.
I don't take a lot of, over-the-counter medicine, because I believe that the body knows how to take care of itself. I see too many people - all a pill-popping - at the slightest discomfort. I, for one, want my liver to work when I'm sixty.
You may look at my tobacco pipe and make an insightful, yet snide, comment about how you want your lungs to work at sixty, but this is my letter and I can judge all I want.
I love you much and miss you always,
Uncle Justin

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