10 Things That Wake Me Up In the Middle of the Night

paint on my jeans
  1. The chest-sucking, deep-in-my-meat knowledge that I will die, and all I have known will cease to be.
  2. The fear that cancer will come back. I was going to write "my cancer" or "the cancer", but that gives it too much power. It gives it a singularity, a character, an ongoing will. It does't get that power. It was incinerated as medical waste years ago.
  3. That I don't know what's next.
  4. A sudden feeling that my late grandmother is near and I don't understand why she would be here.
  5. A cat foot planted squarely on my nipple with the terrible force of which only cat feet seem capable.
  6. That I will not only never find my narrative arc but also that there is none to be found.
  7. Dreaming the solution to a design problem and needing to go over it consciously to check for validity.
  8. Thinking about the environment and how sometimes it seems like we're all basically screwed. My first thought is always that I hope none of the truly bad stuff happens until after I'm dead, and then my second thought is to feel terrible that my kneejerk reaction is to wish for my own relative comfort while everyone after me suffers.
  9. Creeping doubt that life has a purpose.
  10. The kind of hunger that needs a pound of my mother's cream cheese mashed potatoes.