Monday, January 7, 2008


I am the kind of friend you can call at 3 am because more often than not, I would still be awake, reading and listening to music. I have a friend who suffers from transient insomnia so we chat on the phone once in a while in the small hours of morning. But when I called him around 2:30 am on Saturday, he told me to get out of bed and clean the bathroom. Drink milk. Count sheep. Play with Fritz. Or get back to bed and have an orgasm!

The latter was not a bad idea…but when I started reading ‘Istanbul’ (by Orhan Pamuk), I forgot his advice. By 4 am, I started noticing fine cracks on the wall. The wall beside my bed. The wall right beside my bed that I spend so many sleepless nights staring at. Through the years, I’ve developed a very special intimacy with my wall. Ours is an intimacy by circumstance. When I have long passed the point of resisting and in a peaceful state of surrender, I give up to its cozy closeness and undemanding company.

But there are instances when the serenity of our companionship is broken. I imagine Fritz being devoured by garapata so I'd go downstairs to check on him, scan the kitchen walls for crawling, creepy insects that might attack my dog. Or I would smell something burning. Or hear roaches somewhere near my bedroom door. Or listen to the callings of cats in heat. Then I’d fall asleep before sunrise.

Oh, I have not seen the sunrise in many, many years. The last sunrise that left an impression on me was the one I saw from the deck of a ship in 1990 on my way home to Negros. I don’t sleep on ships---worried of an underwater volcano that might erupt while I’m asleep, boulder of rocks the ship might bump into and other crazy things only a neurotic can concoct. It was a magnificent sunrise by the way, with hues of silver, purple, pink, orange and red. That reminds of a scene in a movie, 'Interview with a Vampire'---Louis (Brad Pitt) watching his last sunrise before becoming a vampire. Like Louis, I'm longing to see the sunrise again—when, I don’t know.

My sister would say in jest that she sleeps like a baby because she has a clear conscience. While I don’t claim to have crystal clear conscience, I attribute my sleeplessness to thinking too much, beautiful music, great literary works and the moon.

Dawn: When men of reason go to bed. ~Ambrose Bierce


SeƱor Enrique said...

I used to keep the same kind of wake/sleep pattern when much younger. I enjoyed doing creative stuff when everyone else was sleeping. Most memorable was when I was working at a record company. I was at that time in-charged of the company's newsletter and thus designed its layout and all, which I did most of it at home. At other times I'd party all night all. But all that changed when I turned forty. I began enjoying going to bed early and awaking very early as well -- and catching the sunrise :)

Unknown said...

I wish my sleeping habit changed when I hit the big 4-O! :D Maybe at 50 then! hahaha

I do most of my writings after midnight, creative juices flowing when everybody's asleep. Friends suggest I do part-time job at call centers since I'm too old be a GRO!

Now that I've picked up photography as a hobby, I don't know if I could ever take morning pictures. :-( A shutterbug friend, who incidentally knows you (he even showed me your Wish You Were Here Card when we had dinner recently), has been inviting me to an early morning shoot in Tagaytay. Di ko kaya gumising ng maaga! Good luck to me! :D

 gmirage said...

I thought you're around 20-24 years old...???

You are very good with words, and you got a vivid imagination...! hihi. I believe you'd be able to finish a book soon...(if you start one) =)

I never tried to go to Tagaytay for sunset photos (we live near, 20 minutes drive). Spend the night there and take photos when you're still awake (may araw kaya?) ;-)

Unknown said...

Because I sound so childish??? I'd like to think I sound young but not childish. hehehe I was 24 in 1989.:D

Thank you for the kind words, g_mirage. I'm only good for a few paragraphs...I get lost after that.

Great idea! I'll spend the night in Tagaytay tapos wala ng tulugan s I can take photos early in the morning.:D Thanks for visiting.

 gmirage said...

Really???? Now I'm lost. It's not because you're childish but the way you write gave me the impression that you are in that age bracket...I was really thinking you're younger than me! Oh my...

ok Ate, I'll wait for your photos (hihi joke with the ate!) -Gzel

Migs Bassig said...

You are not alone in your nocturnal wanderings!

By the way, I don't wonder why you can't sleep. Istanbul is a real page-turner, and if you haven't read The Black Book yet, that title is almost the same as Istanbul, only it has a fictional narrative.

Wow. I didn't realize you were above forty! The voice of this blog remains youthful. (Wink) Not that age matters! I wish I'm older all the time.


Unknown said...

Reading from your blogs, I learned that you're a night-owl yourself, Migs. One of the reasons you write so well.

A friend advised me not to read The Black Book...but I might get it after reading Istanbul.

Thank you, Migs. I keep my eyes and heart open for my mental health---to keep love and lust and romance and beauty moving in my mind so I won't shrivel up and die. :D

pusa said...

so your a nocturnal creature hence the luna nick =)

am not really insomiac but its when i cant sleep at wee hours that i get my thoughts together too, hmm what is it about the night?

sunrise are great but i'll remain a sunset lover ;)

great pic! san yan?

Unknown said...

hi pusa. i'm so boring, i don't even have a nickname---luna is my real name.:D

i guess we find sunsets and nights more richly colored than day. one poet wrote, "night, when words fade and things come alive..."

wish ko lang ako kumuha ng pic na yan! borrowed it from this blog site: