Sunday, July 25, 2010


A postscript of a letter sent to Groucho Marx from his son claims that while in Paris he has found a new suppository to cure his father’s insomnia. The joke: accidentally stepping on one has made his foot fall asleep. Like father, like son. There’s always comedy in tragedy.

I watch you sleep, My Beauty. I move the chair close for a front row viewing. That’s why there are those four permanent deep indentations in the carpet. In the dim hovering starlight your fragile white orbs steadily rise and fall as you dream, a solitary tear rolling upon your cheek. But it’s too much for a man, not daring to awaken you to describe the delicacy.

So, arising as quiet as possible I descend down into the library where the dog is asleep at the foot of the recliner. Do dogs suffer from sleeplessness ever? No, their lives are too perfect. Except for the tormenting, arrogant, cat across the street. She sighs deeply with one eye opening, lifts and drops her tail once, then drops her head.

I choose Hemingway at 3:30, rereading in direct lamplight a correspondence for Collier’s magazine from 1944 when he was embedded with French Resistance in his beloved Paris. Roads and hills that he once strolled and bicycled in better days, alas coming over the hill in a battered jeep, he blinks with Paris layed out before him like a mural in a waking dream, and cleaning his glasses he gets a lump in his throat.

It’s always a comfort to know Paris is free. I drift, and when I open my eyes again it is dawn.


Blogger The Bug said...

I'm not prone to insomnia, but you've described it well from the times that I haven't been able to sleep. Nicely done.

7/25/2010 8:16 PM  
Blogger willow said...

I love your evocative writing, Phil.

As far as insomnia goes, I've certainly had my fair share of sleepless nights, but not so many now that I'm off coffee.

There are four marks in the carpet? Hmm....

7/25/2010 11:16 PM  
Blogger Helen said...

If insomnia is unavoidable, then Hemmingway is the best way to deal with it .... so nicely written!

7/25/2010 11:18 PM  
Blogger kathew said...

nicely done -

7/26/2010 1:28 PM  
Blogger Tumblewords: said...

A beauty - astute and evocative.

7/26/2010 1:43 PM  
Blogger RA said...

You make insomnia sound beautiful and serene! :)

7/26/2010 3:26 PM  
Blogger marc aurel said...

Perhaps being awake in the early morning is the body telling me that I need to spend some time alone to think about the past and entertain myself with what pleases that solitary me.

7/26/2010 3:33 PM  
Blogger signed...bkm said...

Love the flow of the whole piece...makes me dreamy and what to see Paris at its best...bkm

7/26/2010 8:57 PM  
Blogger Jingle said...

amazing tale.

7/26/2010 10:36 PM  
Blogger Stafford Ray said...

Oh yes! Love can be like that. Content to watch and appreciate his/her lover but when love demands expression, it is expressed in consideration.
How clever to have Hemmingway sit above Paris to also appreicate the subject of his love. Excellent!

7/27/2010 3:13 AM  
Blogger madamebutterfly said...

An interesting post - thank you.

7/27/2010 5:12 AM  
Blogger Gabriela Abalo said...

I love your Magpie!
Romantic, solitary and not... dealing with things the best you can.

7/27/2010 7:58 AM  

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