Singapore Insomnia

Published 2006-10-06

So I was lying awake in Singapore, thinking about a post-to-be-created that ran something along the lines of “why the summer of 1988 was so important in my life,” which mentally evolved into “three-month periods of my life that I’d like to live over again,” which eventually drove me out of bed to write this:

When Jenny and I visited my hometowns of Lincoln and Scottsbluff, Nebraska in the summer of 2004, a profound feeling of gratitude overcame me. After a night out drinking in Lincoln, Jenny (not a big drinker) drove me around town while I dictated various Signficant Things that happened to me on given spots. By the end of the night the sense of gratitude had reduced me to tears. I can only express it as, “I can think of no better afterlife than to re-live the life I have already lived.” Meeting Jenny in 2003 surfaced this precise feeling for me. Almost daily I would have this deep feeling that I am the luckiest guy in the world. In the past few months, with the stress of all our recent big life changes, I haven’t taken a moment to remind myself of this.

I know I should be writing something observant and pithy about Singapore, how about this: we’ve been away from Xiamen for eight nights now and haven’t slept in an air-conditioned room for any of them. Or had a hot shower. Vicky’s shower has an on-demand water heater of some European kind but I’m too lazy to figure it out; the hut we rented in Malaysia had only the most notional kind of shower. Basically an open tap with a showerhead, next to the toilet.

Singapore insomnia is just like the Oregon (or Nebraska, or China) kind. We have to get up in an hour to catch the damn plane anyway, and the neighbor’s dogs have been barking all night long.