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Columnists

Greek-American Stories: Cures for Insomnia

February 2, 2019
Phyllis “Kiki” Sembos

It’s not easy to fall asleep. I read that many people are afflicted with that condition. I’m no exception.  In fact, if all insomniacs got together we’d probably, outnumber the party crowds at a football game. I’ve tried counting sheep. But, there’s always that one sheep that insists on pausing at the crest of the fence, causing a backlog. Then I have to start all over again. My cat, Sissy, has no trouble getting sleep, averaging about fifteen hours a clip, excepting when she hears me in the kitchen. Then, looking like she’s suffering from a hangover, she drags herself in, looking up at me like a neglected orphan waiting for handouts. So, I decided I had to do something for those of us that have a lot of trouble getting 40 winks. I thought and thought. How do bears do it? All winter!

I decided that the only way to try and get any sleep is if we were bored to death. So, I took up a pencil and thought about subjects that may stir some readers imagination. But, wait a minute! No! If it’s exhilarating they’d sure have a sleepless night. So, it can’t be anything exciting or climactic or nostalgic, either. Gee! Maybe, I’d already written something that may have cured some readers of insomnia. I got it!

Listen! I believe I’ve written a couple of essays that are guaranteed to give a few hours of snore-worthy sleep, if not a coma.

Prepare yourself by getting cozy in a warm bed, wear loose pajamas and relax while absorbing these fascinating articles. We start out by reading an article called, A technical explanation on how an Emu thinks. Then, as your body begins to loosen up, we go on to, The Beneficial Properties of the Betel Leaf Plant. (You’re getting sleepy…) Next, we read about, The administrative Bureaucracy of the Roman Empire. (Yawn!) After reading that eye closer, and you’re still wide eyed, prepare for yet another awe-inspiring essay that I will admit is a real breath-shortening piece, guaranteed to have the distinct ability of making you yawn enough times to risk lockjaw, before nodding off, soundly.

But, I can’t take credit for that piece, however. It was read by the mayor at our town meeting in the borough hall where I live. The title brought on the first yawn. As it was being read, I, actually, nodded off and had to be nudged awake by my neighbor. Our mayor, an unsmiling, humorless man who thinks he’s the reincarnation of Moses reading a review of the Ten Commandments, sounded as if reading a requiem for the deceased. It was titled, “Empowering a Community.” The title brought on my first yawn. Then came ten pages.

It had affected me so intensely I seriously thought about relocating to the Catskills until his term was over. I remember sensing a deep relaxing sensation after he paused, cleared his throat, drank some water, and straightened the sheets of paper before him. The last thing I remember was when he looked up at the audience to see if he had our avid attention. Half-way through, my eyes felt heavy. I stretched my lids open as hard as I could, hoping to keep them that way. That’s when I saw a wide, lush, green lawn and daffodils swaying happily on a sunny hill. I wondered how that can be when it’s mid-winter. I tried to recall where I was before landing on that green lawn. That’s when I got shaken awake by the cleaning man. The meeting was over and the mayor stood at the door, handing out copies of his masterful speech. Exiting, I complimented his speech. Hey! I wasn’t going to risk an increase on my taxes. Then, I thought if it had that affect on me at a public place, think how it’ll affect insomnia, mine and yours. But, there’s another way to cure insomnia quickly. Place a video in your machine that shows sand dunes shifting and moving about to music like, ‘None but the lonely heart’. Oh, look! A sea gull has landed at the water’s edge where waves are…. (Yawn) gently splashing…  foamy waves… Z-z-z-z-z-z.

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