By Alex Distefano
By Scott Snowden
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Almond
By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
During the kick-the-Ambien-habit days, I would either be up until four or I would sleep a bit and wake up at four, which, by the way, is not only the time of noir, when the dance halls and the chop suey joints have closed and people are moving toward doom, but it is the hour of the wolf. In the Bergman movie of the same name, Max Von Sydow tells Liv Ullmann (they are always up all night), "It is the hour when most people die . . . when most children are born. Now is when nightmares come to us."
I do often feel like I'm alone in a graveyard, nestled in one of the open coffins not yet lowered into the earth, as I lie there thinking whether I should get the Canon LiDE 30 scanner or the 50. And if so, should I buy it at Tekserve or the new Apple store, and how will I install the software? And also, will I end up at an aging center with a small, sad income, sitting with the girls in the dining room over a piece of fish while the one man at the table, with his knees all bandaged, rolls out of his chair?
I asked Dr. Kavey about the hour of the wolf. He said, "Whaaat? I don't know, but four in the morning is when the body temperature changes, warms up, gets ready for the day." I was going to ask him if anyone had turned into a werewolf in the sleep clinic. But I didn't. Instead, we chatted a bit about sleepwalking. He said about 1 percent of adults do it: "How is it for someone to go to sleep in blue pajamas and wake up in red pajamas?" Later, I thought, studying sleep is so poetic, much more so than studying hemorrhoids.
Anyway, these days, I have kicked the Ambien habit. It only took about two weeks. Now I'm practically like Vishnu, floating on the Milky Ocean, dreaming the universe into existence. Tonight I am so dozy. Wait, I'm starting to dream. I'm dreaming New York is tired. It lies down. The Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building are right there in each other's arms. The moon is looking down upon them.