I have been away for several months and I apologize. I have had a lot of difficulty sleeping and have had to watch Planet Earth DVDs and read organic cookbooks as a substitute. On a cheerful note: I feel only about 5% more suicidal but 28% more sympathetic to the marshlands.
I am happy to say that I have discovered the cure for my insomnia and also perpetual feelings of loneliness and worthlessness. It used to be that it took about three or four sessions of continuous masturbation to Internet videos until I passed out from exhaustion. I recommend turning the Safe Search off and Googling words that have been beguiling you all day. Words like "Gauguin," "onomatopoeia," and "coriander" have yielded surprisingly titillating workable results in Google Video. I can't stress enough the importance of both turning the Safe Search off and searching for "videos." Sometimes you get unlucky, forgetting to do both, and end up getting only wikitexted fan-fiction all night long. This is really the worst scenario because you read it all and convince yourself that you could write better and decide to make what seemed like modest revisions only to get your post yanked off the boards by an irate admin who shoots you a 4 AM e-mail that says only "PISS OFF WANKER!!" So, in all
honesty Google video search has been all analgesic and not the panacea I wished it to be. Like most major discoveries it happened by chance that I now possess the ability to fall asleep on command like a charmed snake in a rope basket. I share this knowledge with you now and hope that it will succor you as it has succored me.
And it is this: I pretend that my pillow is a large Caribbean sea turtle. Olive or Kemps Ridley species are the right size for a medium weight pillow(for side sleepers) from IKEA. Place your right or left cheek on the bed and position the pillow on ear of the opposite side. I like to position the pillow with a slight rocking motion to simulate the movements of the turtle's belly in the wave action of the Carribbean. Its gentle weight on your head and the produced warmth make you feel loved by a beast with a cartilagenous shell but a heart of gold. When my boyfriend is feeling particularly giving he'll soft boil some eggs or golfballs and rub them on my nose while rocking the pillow. Properly executed on a night when the moon is full, and you could swear you are on the shores of Costa Rica, a newly hatched turtle pup warmed by the crosscurrents generated by mixing the heat of its mother's belly and the cooling sand below.
I call this the Arribada Effect, that is--a perfect moment--true unmediated communion with nature. As with all things, repetition breeds boredom so I change things slightly for variation.
On summer nights for a truly magical Arribada Effect, it's nice to rub one's toes vigorously against the vents of an industrial fan or if unavailable, 1.5" binder clips placed on the individual toes. If you do use the binder clips rub the metal tips of the binder clips against the wall. Do
n't be scared, you will suddenly be transplanted to a sea in the Tropic of Capricorn where a porpoise is nipping at your fins. "Hey Porpoise--Stop it!" you might exclaim and your boyfriend can squeak sympathetically now and then. You can combine this with the pillow trick to enhance your experience. Although dolphins are generally successful in catching baby sea turtles and devouring them whole; we can pretend for this fantasy that sometimes the hunt is just cheerful play and the biting a little joshing between two frenemies.
One A.E. that I like to do on the run or when traveling with only cabin luggage is the white whale. It is quite easy in Asia where one finds many walls with synthetic treatments. In Asian hotels particularly there tend to be walls painted with many layers of hi-gloss latex or enamel paint (I prefer white enamel). Light a medium size candle and place near mirror angled towards the wall, this focuses the light for maximum shine. Take a shower in cold water, do not towel off. Immediately position body against brightest and smoothest part of wall, outstrech arms and feel for the wall's sweet spot with your body if you feel up for some risk-taking maybe give it a tickle. You will never get closer than this to hugging a sperm whale. I find that about 30 minutes of this accompanied by low nose humming will put me eagerly in the arms of Nod.
One that I like to do in the country because truthfully it is time-consuming and a little messy, yields the same whimsical reward as braising short ribs in pineapple juice. Find a nice greeny patch in the garden, prepare a 10 lb sack of sugar with a pencil-pointed hole. Use this to draw a distinct and continuous trail from outdoor patch to bathtub. Feel free to add flourishes! My favorites are meandering spiral labyrinths on my grandfather's rocking chair, a zigzag on the TV, or over some poached eggs. Just take care that you cut a path all the way to the rim of the tub. For claw-footed bathtubs I suggest using a plunger placed a 60 degree angle from floor or a string of rock candies. Please make sure you have reserved at least 2 lbs of sugar at this point. Add sugar to bathtub allowing little to dissolve. If you haven't already done so, disrobe.
Lie in tub. Pat sugar water on self. Take remaining sugar, hopefully a pound or so and rub into exposed flesh. For a side benefit rubbing vigorously will gently exfoliate skin and add a little kinky redness. My boyfriend likes this part the most. Large granulated sugar is best. I like to sift the sugar in advance and save some of the "rocks" to place on my chest at this point. Exhaust all the sugar and discard the sack, taking care to stay supine. Now close your eyes and eagerly anticipate change. After about 5 hours of marination the "tidewater" and "sand" becomes body temperature and the baby crabs come to explore all the funny promontories you've made. They are usually ants but sometimes you get beetles which are arthropods! just like crabs! The sensation is effervescent. You know that you are the fertile tide pool that
scores of creatures cling to for their survival. The darker rougher parts of your body shelter thousands of diverse life forms. Mosquitoes, black flies, termites, garden slugs, and the occasional wet vole become barnacles, sea crabs, sea urchins, chitons, snails, sand flies. Sometimes though raccoons and bears are a problem. Still, I dare you to find a better cure for insomnia.