People like to recommend things to help me sleep. Valerian root tea. Guided meditation. Mantras. And sometimes when I’ve been awake half the night, it is hard to function the next day, but the truth is, I like my nights.
The world sounds different in the middle of the night. More silent, of course, but with different sounds.
One night last week I heard classical music coming from somewhere out on the high desert. A melancholy oboe. I was reminded of a scene in “The Things They Carried,” a short story by Tim O’Brian. His character is lost on a mist-covered mountain in Vietnam when he suddenly hears an entire orchestra playing in the night.
Now I hear music regularly. Sometimes it’s country. Tonight it was 50s rock ‘n roll. I still don’t know where it’s coming from. Another insomniac like me, I guess.
And I’ve seen strange things. One night a mountain lion drifted past. At least that’s what I think it was. I had gotten up to get a drink of water and a huge shadow glided past the window. I tried to follow it, but it disappeared.
There’s also the constant hum of crickets at night. And sometimes, the wind.