Caffeine is a wonderful thing. Until you've had so much that your brain is twitching its tail like a crouching lion, eyes fixed on its next meal. I've pounced on chore after chore this evening as I wait for my mom to settle into her night. Laundry, dishes, scrubbing the kitchen floor, making my to-do list for tomorrow, laying out the papers to fax to my mom's new primary care doctor. What else, what else? the hungry brain asks.
I'm on the couch with the ancient cat (who has never stalked much of anything,) and I'm hoping this glass of wine and her purring will undo the injection of artificial energy. Last night I slept for only a couple of hours--maybe three if you count the time I spent on a pile of blankets at the top of the stairs, waiting for my mom to go back to bed after she woke around midnight. She accidentally pushed her Lifeline button when she woke, and M and I scrambled down the stairs to assure the Lifeline monitor that she was okay. M won the race by a mile. My brain was still trying to decode the strange voice in the kitchen calling my mother's name by the time M had already taken care of things. I tried to go back to sleep, but my mother was up and moving around--now without the button on, I realized--and I didn't want to put the button back on her and risk it being pushed again and waking up M before her crack of dawn 100-mile drive back to school, or the man who loves me who was in my bed in his own fitful sleep.
So I waited. Then I intervened. What was she doing? She had to clean off her desk, she told me. She wanted another empty chocolate tin like the others I had given her for the dimes she'd taken out of her wallet. She needed to put safety pins away, file papers, rearrange this and that. "Go to bed," she told me. So I pretended to.
When I really did get back to bed, the man who loves me said, "We have to activate your mother's pills." Activate, I thought. Activate? Activate what pills? He was half in a dream, half trying to help with the real-life chaos. "Is she going to be okay?" he asked. I told him she was fine. That everything was fine.
This morning, I swear to god, my mother was singing a song that seemed to be about baseball to the tune of the Star-Spangled Banner. I looked in her room and she was sound asleep...singing. "Hah-ha-ha," she laughed. "I don't know many songs," she said as she twitched and tossed, eyes closed.
The man who loves me used to frequently laugh out loud in his sleep. I haven't heard him do that in a long time. And I'd never heard anyone do that before him. If my mother wants to sing, I suppose that's okay too. I'd prefer to dream an interesting dream rather than sing. I'd prefer to sleep, rather than sit here typing. It's started to rain. Maybe all this crazy energy will be washed away. Sleeping to the sound of rain is a rare pleasure in Southern California.