Starbucks Log: Sleepless in Edmonton

Somehow the underwater nasal strains of Bob Dylan always settle me. Dylan has the voice of a sad mystic, which is hope for me. It counters the sight of fire trucks and the sound of police sirens here on 9th street.

I like that sometimes Dylan’s muse is sick and his "horse is blind". I like it because I feel it; I know what that’s like. Sometimes words don’t come. They get stuck–jammed like logs at the throat of a river. They wait there for the river to rise. A rain perhaps. Perhaps they will wait until spring after the thaw.

I like the man in the bright orange and yellow vest with the broom and the heavy blue bag with the long handle, that serves as dustpan. I like him because he always says hello to me. Says hello to as many people as meet his eyes. You can tell he likes saying hello. I also like him because he keeps this concrete acre clean.

Today a lady that could be his wife is working with him. What kind of life do they have? Does he say hello to his wife several times a day?

Lately I’ve been waking up late. 6:30-7:00 AM. The reason is that I wake up early, around 3:30-4:00, and lie awake for an hour or more before falling back to sleep. What’s that about? Certainly not the sleep-of-the-dead. Which is fine with me if that’s my alternative.

The people that are writing "spots" for Hope Mission’s Radio-thon had a story of a guy wandering the streets, not sleeping for eight days. I read someplace that after eleven days you die. Thinking that the man in their story was an anecdotal-composite-man, I told the writer that we don’t see too many people who haven’t slept for eight days and asked him to adjust the story a bit. But he came back to me and said the eight days was an actual quote.

I know street guys-I talk to them-who claim to not have slept for several days; and by the zombie-signs I believe them. But eight days? What would that be like?

Technorati Tags: , , ,


  1. Dylan has touched the core of the matter on his poetic journeys and his reports back are healing.

    Leonard Cohen has given me similar gifts and Bono and U2 can make hope seem like a real option even when times are hard.

    But it was Dylan singing for the Lord on Slow Train Coming that brought me thru The Looking Glass and I am still in the mystical kingdom till this day.

    I am going to see him at the JLC here in London on Nov. 3 and it could be better than church.

  2. of course Dylan could be strung out and looking and acting like a guy who has been sleepless for 8 nights. So I won’t know what I’ll get till I get there

    “I am as light as a feather, I am as happy as an angel, I am as merry as a school-boy. I am as giddy as a drunken man. A merry Christmas to every-body! A happy New Year to all the world! Hallo here! Whoop! Hallo!”

  3. Your question about 3 a.m. waking intrigued me, as my (adult) daughter has been doing the same thing lately, always around that time. So of course, I went looking for theories, and here are some of the more common explanations:
     A sound in your building that happens at the same time every night
     It’s called bimodal sleep, according to sleep researchers, and was a normal pattern in humans prior to electricity – sleep early in the evening, wake in the wee hours to check on things (or for sex, if you’re looking for suggestions as to how to handle the extra time), and then sleep again until sunrise.
     Brain chemistry out of whack (subconscious stress, anxiety, sadness, excitement, depressoin…)
     3 am is the time of lowest metabolic activity in normal circadian rhythms
    ……..for what those are worth…it’s also a good time to be creative, plan that next blog post!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *