Just One More Page

I keep falling asleep reading.

More and more over the past year, but especially in the past few weeks, my day ends to the lethargic turning of pages, a heavy-lidded struggle to finish just one more chapter that becomes just a few more paragraphs then maybe I can actually finish this sentence before finally devolving to part of my brain knows I’ve read this word five times already yet I have no memory of it.

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And then, at some point, I wake up. The light is still on and the book has tumbled clumsily onto my chest and my wife is snoozing beside me and I’m overcome by sadness, because first of all I can’t remember what I read and second of all I’m going to have to read it again and third of all I’m awake late at night which does not bode well for the following morning. Sometimes I manage to bookmark my progress and put the book on the bedside table before I lose consciousness for good; sometimes the book ends up in the floor and I’ve doomed myself to rereading passages if not entire pages again the next night.

Could I learn from this? I could. Logic dictates that I should know when I lie down for the night whether I’m alert enough to pick up a book and grind through a few pages. But logic doesn’t know a damn thing about my life. I’m trying desperately to not be one of those jerks who goes to work, comes home, ignores his kids, and disappears into a black hole of bad TV and beer before he succumbs to unconsciousness, only to repeat the process ad infinitum until his life is as meaningless as the jokes inside a Bazooka Joe wrapper. I’m trying — perhaps not with Herculean effort, but trying nonetheless (damn you Yoda) — to improve.

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That means waking up earlier than I have to to put some miles on my sneakers. It means working on my novel or reading during my lunch break. It means playing some video games with the kids when I get home, or chasing them around the yard a little bit. And it means carving out time to read every night before I finally shut my eyes, even when my pillow’s siren song is at its most irresistible.

And maybe it’s because my reading fare of late is a bit, I dunno, drier than what I’ve read in the past. (This week’s tome: A Brief History of Time, by Stephen Hawking.) Fascinating stuff, to be sure, but still — not exactly an edge-of-your-seat thriller.

Or maybe it’s just that I’m getting older and the old man needs his sleepies.

This post is part of Stream of Consciousness Saturday.

10 thoughts on “Just One More Page

  1. I *love* the “do or do not – there is no try” philosophy. I’ve used it on my kids and they just stare at me. Guess Yoda logic sinks in better when we’re older…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I too read A BRIEF HISTORY OF TIME – in my case – when it first hit the book shelves back in 1988.

    It was touted as a book that could lay bare the myriad intricacies of quantum theory and cosmological fandangery to the average lay person. It never quite did that for me.

    Though the idea of it at the time definitely appealed to my intellectual vanity, it started to lose me after not even the first few chapters and I slunk away with my head spinning, literally seeing stars and feeling like I’d just gone ten rounds with..well, Stephen Hawking!

    Like so many books, the idea of it as described on the back blurb and celebrated in the press was tantalising but the reality turned out to be in large parts sleep-inducing.

    If I want to have any hope of penetrating the elusive realms of understanding on such subject matter I need to drill down to many, many levels of simplification below A BRIEF HISTORY OF TIME to a book such as QUANTUM PHYSICS FOR BABIES by Chris Ferrie. And I’m not, standing before you now, ashamed to admit it! Ok, maybe a little?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m having much the same experience. The first few chapters? Vastness of space, innumerability of stars, black holes, gravitation? Awesome. Quantum theory? yeah, I feel like I might need some ayahuasca to get a grip on that.

      I’m still enjoying it, though. Kinda like just being in the room with a bunch of smart people makes you feel smart. Or maybe extra dumb. But also smart.

      Liked by 1 person

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