An Eye. Foreign Eye.

It’s finally here.  Months of figuring out and anticipating this trip back home for my best friend’s wedding, it’s finally happening tomorrow morning.  As usual, my last day in Paris is a tough one but I keep a positive attitude because if the past has taught me anything, it’s that if your last day in Paris isn’t hard, you don’t nearly appreciate the jaunt back home as much.  Suffering is important.  That’s one important lesson I’ve learned on the other side of the fence.

This one sucks.  I’ve got three kids under four years old.  It starts alright.  Mini croissants and pains au chocolates keeps them happy while I drink an Allongé  at Café Noir and even though the elevator’s out of service and I’ve got to walk these three rascals up and down six flights of stairs, they’re good sports and they fall for it when I tell them to pretend it’s a mountain and whoever makes it to the top gets to help me make lunch.  Kids are awesome for foolery.  Things take a turn for the worse when a shortened nap makes them all miserable.  I’m taking them to a toddler music class at ; get them dressed, lug the double stroller down the stairs and off we go to the Montessori school just off Grand Boulevards.

On the way an old man carrying books pushes me onto the sidewalk and tells me in French that I could make an effort.  I want to let the stroller go and punch him in the face but instead, I stand up for myself and say “EXCUSE ME?!  Old Man, does it really look like I’m NOT making an effort?!”  I’m fairly certain that he’s thinking these children are mine, that I’m over breeding, that I’m bad for Paris.  If only he knew.

Arriving at the school, I am met with another challenge.  Turns out the teacher of the class is blind.  I had been to three classes prior and had never remarked her eyesight before.  Taking a quick look into the classroom past the sea of babies, I noticed a big black dog rolling around on the carpet.  My asthma.  I can’t go.  I’m going to have to turn right back around and walk these kids home.  Shit.  Summer, the teacher comes out to explain the dog is actually a seeing eye dog, hers, and is always at the school and free to run around in all the classrooms.  Things are becoming abundantly clear and now I know what sent me to the hospital the last time – this dog.  Normally, I would make a stink about having pets indoors.  “Don’t people GET IT?!” but instead, she finds the one room where the dog wasn’t and we head in for class.  The kids are horrible.  Screaming, doing summersaults instead of listening, screaming.  At one point, Zac climbs up on the window ledge and while I’m watching the 18 month old and we’re busy playing cymbals, the four year old, Myrna, opens the child-proof lock for Zac so he can propel himself out the 3rd story window if he likes.  I’m furious and we’re asked to leave the class.

On the way home, I’m threatening everything I can think of, “You’d better be good or I’ll tell your mother.”  “If you don’t behave, you’re going straight to bed.” “No snacks ever again.”  Nothing’s working.  We get to the park for pick-up and then I’ll be left with only Zac.  I’m absolutely exhausted and winded already.  The other mother arrives and asks where Myrna’s polar fleece is.  She’s left it at the school but the mother asks me to go up to Zac’s apartment to check.  ‘Sure, yeah, no problem.  I’ll climb back up the fucking six  hundred stairs AGAIN to have a gander, why not?  I’m getting excited again.  One hour left until total freedom, a nice dinner with my man and some final touches in the packing department and I’m OUT OF HERE!  No screaming kids for 2 weeks!  No dishes!  No laundry!  No nothing!

Michael and I head home together and I’m bragging about my cloud nine and we’re rushing home so I’ve got time to get my eyebrows waxed before dinner.  I’m a moron but I like to arrive back home looking good.  I want everything to be perfect.  This is my greatest fault.

Eyebrow wax goes well and while Michael’s at home making us a beautiful smoked salmon salad, I remember that I still have to print my e-Ticket.  I run over to the Internet café, sit down and print it out.  The first one doesn’t work, it prints only on half a page.  I ask the guy why and he says I should just try to print it again.  I do, the second one works fine.  The guy charges me for the first printouts and I’m furious and start arguing with him.  His friends are all looking at me like I’m a crazy, greedy American when I refuse to pay for something that’s his fault.  After all, that’s not how things work over here.  You get screwed in France, it’s your problem.  The customer is NOT always right, in fact, it’s a pretty safe assumption that the customer’s a fucking idiot.  Finally, he tells me the total price to try and trick me and I can’t be bothered to argue anymore.  Don’t sweat the small stuff, right?  I’m pretty well good to go.  Just a little more packing and I’m off.  I skip home for dinner and….

I’m standing at the door to my courtyard.  I can’t reach my keys.  They’re deep in my pocket so I put my e-ticket in my mouth and grab them.  In doing so, something happens.  God happens, the way he likes to anytime I’ve mentioned my happiness out loud.  A gust of wind blows my ticket up and the corner of the page I didn’t want to pay for stabs me in the right eye.  It’s very painful and I can’t see.  The tears start and I’m furious.

I get upstairs and ask Michael if my cornea is scratched.  Michael has a look and tells me it’s probably alright.  If I had really hurt myself, I’d be complaining a lot more, he figures.  Either that or I’m the bravest girl in Paris.  There is a lot of water coming out of my eyes but my dinner’s so good I try to focus on other things.  We have a nice night and the pain calms down a bit for a while even though it’s still quite irritated.  We head to bed after a game of Go and I set my alarm for 5h30.  With the RATP on strike, I was told I needed to leave the house no later than 6h30 to be sure to catch my flight at .  We have access to a car but with the manifestations blocking off the auto route, the metro, despite it’s 1 for every 4 trains`status, is a better bet.

At , I`m jolted awake in agony.  I can’t open or close my eye and I can’t see a bloody thing.  I also can’t open my left eye because it hurts my right eye.  Something’s wrong.  Something is REALLY wrong.  I can’t stay calm so I just start screaming.  Michael calls SOS Medic to come to the house to take a look at my eye because I’ve only got an hour before I’ve got to head out to the airport and I refuse to go back to the hospital again.  They’ll keep me there forever!  In the end, we decide against the doctor because without my security sociable number (oh yes, did I mention that after the appointments at the CPAM they seem to have LOST my dossier COMPLETELY?!)  Michael has to pack for me because I’m blind.  I’m also screaming at him because I’m not dealing well with the pain and tears are dripping down my cheeks.  Nothing has ever hurt so much.  I get a cold compress, pack it on and head out for the airport, Michael carrying all my heavy bags and me holding his arm because I can’t open my eyes.

We arrive at the airport in good time.  There is a nurse on the lower level and even after I wait in the check-in line for 2 hours, it should be enough time to see the nurse and the pharmacist and even time for a coffee.  And, if a woman has EVER needed a coffee, it’s me. 

I wait in the Swiss Air line-up, a little confused as to why about every other customer is being pushed aside and told to wait.  When finally, after 2 hours of tears and begging the counter guy for help, I am also told to move aside.  They are behind schedule today and all the morons who just showed up for their 9h30 flight at 9h20 are being let ahead of us.  Then, those people at the back of the line are also being let ahead of us.  They are so fucking stupid I want to cry.  I tell the man who’s directing the line up that I have come early on purpose so I can see the nurse.  That there is a problem with my cornea and I’m in a lot of pain.  I would have thought the endless swearing out loud would have been a good enough tip off but oh no.  Oh no.  He tells me I’ll just have to wait like everybody else.  Don’t sweat the small stuff, Julie, just be patient.

It’s 10h15 when I’m finally through the line.  There’s no time now to see the nurse so I head directly to the pharmacy and all of the sudden, the pain lessens and I feel okay.  Maybe this cold compress is working?  Maybe I just had a leaf in there or something.  Maybe I won’t be blind after all.  The woman at the pharmacy gives me some antiseptic eye drops and offers me some eye patches.  I’m already feeling stupid and they’re 12 euros.  I opt out.  Besides, I’m feeling alright and I have just enough time to get a coffee to go before heading to security.  Thank you, God.

I get my along from a stuck up teenager working at the airport café who likes to show off her English and answers me `would you like some cream and sugar with that, Monsieur.` despite me being a WOMAN (Ok, Ok so the towel pressed up against my eyeball and my swollen face and my inability to take a shower this morning may have put my sex into question for just a moment) but to answer me in English just because she hears a slight accent put me in a bad mood again.  I take my coffee begrudgingly and head up to departures.

On the stairwell, I am pushed aside by a middle-aged woman who wants to take a picture of her family before they head to Hong Kong on holidays.  The push makes me hit my eye lid with the towel and the pain starts anew.  I’m not happy but just try to keep going without screaming at anyone.  I’m in no position to argue and I’m guessing that yelling might hurt my eye even more.  Then the woman turns around and flails her arm, sending my coffee sky-rocketing into the air and all over me.  It’s scalding hot.  She gives me a dirty look `What was that?! and keeps going.  No apology.  I’m going to lose it.  And before I know it, I’m talking to myself again. `Are you fucking kidding me?  You bitch!  You’re not even sorry!  People are unbelievable!` Just then, it occurs to me how ridiculous I must seem to on-lookers.  Check out that crazy GUY talking to himself and holding a hand towel against the side of his swollen face.  I shut up and head upstairs.

I’m selected for an inspection when crossing through security.  I’m angry because if I end up missing this flight, I’ll also miss my connection in Zurich.  I’ve got exactly two hours to make it to my connecting flight and the flight from Paris to Zurich is an hour long.  No time for mistakes or delays.  I’m supposing it’s the wonky eye making me look suspect.  It’s a quick check though and when they realize the only thing in my knapsack is a copy of Crime and Punishment and some eye drops, they allow me to put my boots back on and head to my gate.  I get there and to my dismay, the flight is delayed.  At first by just a few minutes, then twenty, thirty, one hour.  I’m a goner.

The man sitting behind me keeps yanking on my chair.  Each time, my eyelid pushes up a little harder against my cornea scratch and I’m in agony.  It’s that sensitive.  I start to feel a familiar pain in my lower abdomen and get anxious and run to the washroom.  You’ve got to be fucking kidding me.  Life is funny, aunt it?

We arrive in Zurich an hour late.  We’ve already missed my connection time and when I ask the stewardess what I should do in this case, she suggests I sit down and stop worrying so much.  Nice.  I take the milk chocolate bars they handed out for being late and mowed down trying to up my `happy hormones and decrease the worrying bitch ones that are making this day so much worse than it needs to be.  I’ve got sleeping pills in my knapsack too and as soon as I get on the next plane, I’m taking one and the rest should be no problem.  Just then, I learn that the next flight to Toronto isn’t until tomorrow and I am recommended to run to the next gate.  From A to E.  They’ve held the flight for me and I’ve got ten minutes to get there.  E47 is all I’ve got on my mind.  And I start a runnin`.

Running, as any of you who know me will already know is not easy for an asthmatic.  I’m having an attack but don’t have time to access my ventolin.  On top of it, I can hardly see a bloody thing.  I have to take a metro and four rolling walkways to get to security and when I get there, I’m panting and begging people to let me ahead.  A couple do but when I finally reach the security gate, I’m met with three people who look at me with suspicion. 

`Please, please…I have to make this flight.`
`Just wait, Maam.`

I’m re-directed to a room behind a curtain.  Yes, friends, I am going to be strip searched.  No matter how much I plead, they tell me to wait.  By now, I’ve missed the connection for sure.  I’m screwed and I start to cry.  Crying makes my eye hurt.  It’s a vicious cycle.  I realize I must look like a lunatic and finally concede to waiting.

They take off my clothes and inspect me like a terrorist.  I have no drugs on me.  No weapons.  Nada.  They finally let me go.  A sweet old man arrives to accompany me to the gate and tells me I don’t have to run.  They’re holding the plane for me because they understand I’m having vision problems and feel a little guilty for this whole rigmarole.  I am escorted arm in arm by the man onto the plane and directed towards an empty row of seats where I’ll finally be able to sleep soundly.

No.  No I won’t.  I have also been placed directly behind a row of a negligent mother and her two screaming two year olds who hurl through the entire ten hour flight and take turns throwing things at my face while their mother isn’t looking.  I stop one from being run over by the drinks cart and another from trying to enter the pilot’s cabin.  So far, this holiday is looking very much like my day to day.  Badly behaved children and constant, agonising pain.  I’m miserable so I ask the stewardess for 5 coffees and 5 baileys.  They help but only a little. 

I manage to sleep for only an hour of the world’s most boring flight.  Despite having a private screen in front of me and an infinite supply of HBO and English sitcoms (something I would normally LOVE!) I can’t look at the screen because it hurts my eye.  Landing hurts even more.  The light is too much to bear and the pressure in my head makes my eye feel like it might actually pop out.

Finally, we’ve landed and I am told by the steward that my bags have probably not made it to Toronto because of the short connection time in Zurich.  Mother fucker.  I need to get to a hospital as soon as possible.  I don’t want to wait for nothing so I head to the information desk as soon as I get off the plane.  They tell me they don’t have a record of my bags so I wait with the rest of the Zurich passengers for a half hour.  They all get theirs and me, nada.  So I head back to the desk to file a missing bags report.  They tell me I’ll likely get them sometime Saturday.  I’m wondering where this newfound bad luck is coming from and I’m eager to get out.  Wait, though.  I’m going to take a last gander just in case.  And there they are.  Both bags.  Nothing broken or ripped.  It’s a miracle and I grab them and head out the sliding doors.  As soon as I see my mother, I lose it, tears everywhere.  I let myself close my eyes and led her lead the way up some more escalators and towards the car, hospital-bound.  With the rush hour traffic, we arrive about an hour and a bit later.  I am rushed in and then told to wait in the waiting room.  Another two hours of pain later, the doctor finally comes to see me.

It’s not a scratch, it’s a cut and a big one at that.  He gives me some aesthetic and puts some goo on my eye and a nice prescription for Oxycodone, then sends me home.  I take a couple of pills and I’m feeling pretty great (apart from the nausea and vomiting), despite my pirate patch.

I’m just today coming out of a three day high and able to keep my eye open.  It’s not nearly as red anymore and last night, for the first time since last Wednesday, I had a good night’s sleep.  And I’ve been told that I can make $15 a pill if I don’t finish the bottle.  That’s some more good news, no?

I don’t know what I did exactly to merit this kind of start to my holiday but it must have been something really bad.

Sucks to my Asthmar. October 2010

I should be sleeping. 

It’s been days now of one hour here, another there, with a lot of breathless wake ups.  They’re quite different than waking up from nausea or worry or just because you have to pee.  Waking up without breath is true, vivid, Hell.  You’re sweaty, you can’t talk, you’re afraid of disturbing the people around you so you try to tiptoe to the washroom to spit up all the gunk in your lungs without a sound.  You try tea, doesn’t work.  Try sitting up, distracting yourself, doesn’t work.  Try puff after puff of a rescue medicine that just makes you gittery and anxious until your heart is beating so fast and you’re almost unable to stand when you use your last bits of energy left to shout or whisper, more like it–  “I have to go to the hospital,” and only you knows just exactly what that means – days of being convinced that you have no idea what you’re doing, being taught and re-taught about an illness you’ve had all your life.  Begging them for days to please send you home after they’ve doped you up with the goods so you can get a calm, peaceful night’s sleep once and for all.

The woman next to me turned out the lights early.  I’m fairly used to the hospital rhythm, though.  She’s the wise one, I’m the young fool watching reruns of Grey’s Anatomy because somehow shows about hospitals – watching fiction about people who have got it way worse than you in an atmosphere you absolutely detest – it’s just enough to make you comfortable in your sweaty, static hospital sheets.  She knows better because in a half hour or so, one of the nurses is going to burst in anyway and wake us both up for one of us for the regular temperature, heart rate, oxygen level tests that make it all but unbearable to spend a night locked up in a place that’s supposed to provide relief.  Sure, of course I’m happy they’re taking my vitals, that they’re keeping an eye out for me and making sure I’m not getting worse but it’s hard to drift off knowing that everyone’s waiting for them to bottom out.  It’s hard to sit up straight with the lights on to take an aesosol for 30 minutes every couple of hours so that you make it through the vitals checks.  Then, it’s hard to watch the lines go up and down and the numbers plummet when you know exactly what it means.  It’s hard to have another doctor say, “You could have died.  We’d like to keep you here for a while.”  It’s hard to get last night out of my head so I can’t close my eyes.  I can’t.  Anyway, they’re all wet tonight.

I know, I know, it’s not that big of a deal.  It’s a stupid illness that affects almost everybody.  I don’t know many people who don’t know someone: a brother, a sister, an aunt, a best-friend with asthma.  I hate watching people shrug and roll their eyes at me like it’s the easiest thing in the world to deal with, like they’ve got a clue what it’s like to lie down in their beds and feel like their breathing through a skinny straw.  The fact is, they don’t and there are very different varieties of this illness that make it difficult for people to understand the severity of your symtoms. 

Most people also don’t know what it’s like to be ashamed of themselves for being the one who wrecks a party by leaving in an ambulance just because someone brought their dog or the looks you gets if you want to have a couple cigarettes with cocktails (like everyone else around you) and look upon you with scorn when you then needs a hit of ventolin to get through the night.  They don’t understand how much it hurts to avoid people you care about when they’re sick with respiratory illnesses in fear of catching something or how traumatic it is to fall in love with  a man who dreams of owning a dog or a horse.  Nobody gets how depressing it is to know that for the rest of their lives, they’ll need to work extra hard to afford the medication they need to get through the workdays or just how grueling it can be to try to go for a leisurely jog through a park despite being a relatively fit young person.  Most women don’t shop for purses that must fit their ventolin, atrovent and aerochamber.  Most people don’t know this stuff because it’s not their job to know this stuff.  Still, today I encountered a respirologist who didn’t seem to get it one bit.

Every time I am hospitalized, it’s the same story.  They send some resident to my bedside to lecture me about the way I’m controlling my asthma.  That I’m not taking good enough care of myself if I’ve ended up in a hospital so many times.  That I don’t take it seriously.  They teach me AGAIN how to breathe better, show me a peak-flow metre as though it’s the first time I’ve encountered such an object while I secretly imagine my childhood collection of them on my dresser.  Eventually they start asking the details, trying to pick apart my life to find the one and only reason why I’m still in this state, making me feel guilty for every choice I ever take. 
“What floor do you live on?  Do you have cockroaches?  Have you noticed any mould in the building?  Why didn’t you come to the hospital sooner?  Why didn’t you increase your medication?  Why don’t you have steroids at home?”

Sure, let’s address these, bitch.  I live on the first floor of an apartment, the cheapest, most affordable one I can find in Paris.  I don’t have cockroaches but it’s Paris and the place is old so sometimes I’ve got mice and I’m not allergic to insects but I am allergic to rodents.  Sure, I’ve noticed mould in the building.  Have you got a better place for me to stay?  A better job?  A better visa?  Pass it along, I’m in!  Why didn’t I get here sooner – well, that’s my favourite question of all.  I have been waiting 8 months for health insurance in this country…8 months of taking days off work so I can get this magic number.  8 months of waiting in 2 hour+ lineups to be told that I need another piece of paper they forgot to tell me about on my 6th and 7th visits,  yet another piece of paper that’s going to cost me yet another 30 euros.  I should tell my government that our birth certificates are insufficient.  Yeah, I’ll get right on that if you can afford to buy me a ticket back to Canada on the less than minimum wage job I’m able to get in this frickin’ country despite my University degrees, fluent French and genuine effort to immerse myself in the culture.  Why didn’t I increase my medication?  Because the stuff is like gold to me – gold given to me for free by a very generous doctor in my hometown once my respirologist retired and my pediatrician passed away and I had no one else who quite understood the predicament I was in.  Because I’ve only got one week of the stuff left as it is and I’m trying to make it go as far as possible because I don’t have 400 euros a month to pay for the stuff and NEVER EVER will.  I haven’t got steroids at home because to get them, you need to pay 30 euros to see a doctor and even then, they won’t likely trust you because they don’t know your history and they don’t just hand out meds like candy anywhere, even if you know as much about your illness as any doctor by now.  They don’t know how many nights you stayed up having treatments as a little girl, making midnight tea parties for she and her stuffed animals with a plastic mask strapped to her face to get her through it.  They don’t know what it felt like to be a teenage girl on so much medication that it made her face bloat out like a chipmunk and her skinny jeans fat ones.  They don’t know how much it sucked to have to sit out an inning or a period because there’s not enough oxygen to stand straight and you’re already seeing stars.  In short, they don’t know a God Damned thing about me and I’m sick of being brought to tears by complete strangers who don’t think before they open their fat overly-textbook-educated mouths.

This time, I cut the bitch off in mid-sentence because she told me I ought to forsee attacks and manage the symptoms before they become issues.  Really????  So, for example, how am I to know that someone who’s just seen a cute Labrador in the street bent over to pet him and got hairs all over their coat and jeans.  How am I supposed to know that that same person sat on the same chair as me just before me on the metro or has stopped by my place to help with my homework?  How am I supposed to know the kids I babysit for spent the weekend horseback riding and haven’t washed their knapsacks yet?  How am I supposed to know that if I avoid every possible risk at a wedding of two great friends– arrange to sleep in a van of a friend with no pets, away from the hostel where the rest of the gang are staying which operates occasionally as an equestrian centre, away from other possible problems like rooms in a big castle on a property big enough to have horses and dogs and therefore likely to have had clients who touched them and spread the dander onto the furniture?  Should I not go to the wedding at all?  Then, I ask you, how can you stop people from resenting you for flaking out one to seven times a week on the day-to-day reality that might end up being harmful to your health? 
And finally, you tell me, Lady, how am I supposed to know that the kid I look after every day is going to sneeze in my mouth while I’m changing his diaper and that I’ll catch his bronchial cough on a Tuesday morning, despite washing my hands like surgeon and anti-bacterializing everything?  I can’t.  I’m not God.  I’m not even close.  Christ, I can’t even control my lung capacity, let alone the everyday risks that are everywhere and everything.

I don’t take my illness seriously enough?  Really?  Do you know how many years I spent depressed, wanting to die because I knew that my life was going to end like this, slowly losing breath until there was none left?  How much courage it took to play sports knowing that I was playing with fire every time I tried?  Do you know what it was like to listen to both my grandparents suffocate to death in just the same way I’ll likely go?  Do you know how many hours I’ve thought about not having children out of sheer fear of passing this onto them?  Or how I look at donor cards and think to myself, ‘really, could you really give this shitty, broken to another person?’ Do you know what it’s like to lie on a stretcher and have people watch you, stare at you, wondering what’s wrong with you and if you’re going to make it?  To have your skin pierced and stabbed and your bone marrow tested, needles broken off in your forearm?  To have to try out new medicines in desperate hope without knowing the side effects?  To spend a year throwing up because you were on such high doses of meds that you couldn’t swallow properly?  Do you know what it was like to take up smoking because it actually made the every day pollutants easier to digest than trying to live in a bubble that doesn’t exist?  Do you know what it’s like to desperately at least want the CHOICE to breathe this way or not?  No, you don’t.  Would you give anything for a body that worked?  No, you wouldn’t, because no one has ever threatened to put a hole in your throat so you don’t die.

I’ve been laying here for hours already, crying into my pillow listening to an old man down the hall choke to death.  He can only exhale and even that is depleting him quickly.  He’s coughing up everything, mucous, blood, tar.  Even though I’m not there, I can tell you that his throat tastes like metal.  His back is so tense from the motions of the coughing, he’s in agony.  Every cough makes his eyeballs want to jump out of his skull and he’s seeing stars.  He’s seeing stars because his body can’t take this kind of trauma any longer.  He wants to die.  I know this because everytime I have an attack like this, I want to die.  I want it to stop – the struggle, the pain, the spinning head, the pulsing temples, the black and white hallucinations from an overworked cranium, the pain in my chest, the quickened heart rate from too much ventolin that’s not working and the dry mouth from too many preventatives that haven’t prevented a damn thing.  I want to die.  I just don’t want to go like this, and definitely not in a place like this.  I don’t want this struggle and pain to be the last thing I feel.  Just the thought of it and my face is wet with fear.  I’ve been scared of this my whole life and every time I lose my breath, I wonder if this is the one.  Is this how I go?  Are these ceiling panels the last thing I’ll ever see?  Do I die alone?  Or worse, in a room with a stranger?  Does everyone else know how I feel about them?  Is this diabetic meal of steamed fish and buttered macaroni the last thing I’ll ever taste?  If I close my eyes tonight, am I going to wake up?
Believe me, I take this very, very seriously. 

Of course I do.  This is my life.  Even when I do everything just right, I end up right back here, in yet another blue tie-back v-neck gown, arms filled with needles and bruises, greasy hair, IVed-up tape marks all over my chest from all the heart monitors and yet another lecture from another person who thinks they’ve got me all figured out.  And I’m scared enough.  I don’t need some healthy bitch to make me cry.  I can do that all by myself without any help.  I didn’t come here to feel worse about myself.  I came here to breathe a little easier.

Wish me luck.  I’m going to close my eyes now and try to think happy thoughts.

Lights on.  Seat upright.  Time for more tests.  Meanwhile, there’s a senile old man taking a leak in front of the nurses station.  Nothing like a little elderly nudity and endless machine beeps all around at midnight to get me into an REM kinda mood.

Maybe I’ll sleep tomorrow;  if they discharge me that is.