I’ve had pretty disturbed sleep for the last few months. I’m a light sleeper and, even worse, I don’t wake up in the normal groggy manner; if I open my eyes, my brain immediately goes into high-gear and I’m wide awake.

Our neighborhood has gotten quite noisy in the middle of the night – it’s strange that people no longer seem to have a diurnal rhythm – every day and every hour seems appropriate for just about any activity. Understandably, renovation and restoration seem to be big in our neighborhood, since most of the homes are hovering around a hundred years old. But for the love of Jesus, do contractors have to deliver lumber and other construction materials at 4 AM so that their crews are ready to work by 7? Is it normal for trucks to be going up sleepy residential neighborhoods at such times?

In the Winter, there’s snow removal all night long. Giant diesel trucks slamming down their plows and noisily belching exhaust as they try to clear the streets. Not to mention the army of driveway cleaners and their massive blowers howling in the night (the City no longer allows driveway plows). Even the freaking paper boy likes to get an early start by launching the newspaper against our front door at 4:30 AM. In the Summer, the crows get an early start, usually around 4 AM, just as the first rays of daylight in Newfoundland start to peek over the Montreal horizon. I remember one night hearing a loud bang and seeing the bright blue-green flash of an electric condenser going up in smoke on one of the outside poles. “Some crow must have just got electrocuted”, I mumbled over to the Kommandant. Sure thing, next morning I found a monster crow flat on his back, sizzled like chicken at a redneck BBQ. Revenge was sweet.

And it’s not much better on the inside of the house either! The enormous room humidifiers required because of the nose-punishing Winter heating, regularly let out noisy belches of air like a modern day Vesuvius.

The Kommandant’s solution? “She who would sleep through a tornado” has, as usual, a pragmatic response: “Wear ear plugs”.

I decided instead to, in the words of Eckhart Tolle, “Stop resisting….it’s all an illusion”, and instead embrace the night. So if I wake up at 3, 4, or 5 AM, I just get up and get to work. This morning it was (mercifully) 5 AM. All I can say is: “Man, can you ever get a lot done between 5-8 AM!”. My office has returned to a semblance of order. I’m looking forward to my Greek coffee and toast with genuine hunger. And I’m going to find out where the paper boy lives if it kills me. Then I’m going to go to his house at 3 AM and throw frozen turds on his door.

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