Bedtime Stories for the Insomniac is something I have been working on for a very long time. All of the stories here are true to me. The chapters you are about to read have been inspired by life on life’s terms. The following pages are a collection from my journals. All of this is very real and personal to me. Take the name of the book for example, my idea for the title is very simple. I never sleep much. I’m up late and wake up early. There are times when I lay in bed thinking about life. I think about everything, which is probably why I have insomnia. I think about serious things. I question the universe. There are times when I question myself and challenge my own assumptions. There are times when I relive old memories with a smile or think about places in the world that I hope to see one day. This is what the book is about. This is life from my perspective.
This book is designed to be read in any way you choose. You can pick it up and put it down. You can walk away and come back. You can read the stories in random order or from front to back or back to front. Either way, this is my book of rambles, of prose and cons, and ups and downs.
Bedtime Stories for the Insomnia is dedicated to the people who stood by me. This is dedicated to those who encouraged me and loved me. These are the people who reminded me on a daily basis that I have the right to dream and the ability to achieve my dreams. I just have to work for it. This book has been brought to you by the people who have made me laugh because if it weren’t for them, I’m not sure where I would be.
This is dedicated to my Mother and Father. This is for my family. This is dedicated to my old friends and new friends and of course, this is a dedication to my friends who died along the way. This is for the people who have seen me go from young to old and back to young again. Moreover, this is written for the people who taught me to believe in possibility. To be clear, I seldom use names in my stories. Anonymity is very important to me which means in some cases, names have been changed to protect the less than innocent. I might change the names or alter the places to protect confidentiality, but those who know will know and hopefully, those who don’t will learn. Either way, you know who you are. And that’s all that matters to me.
I’d like to dedicate this to the authority figures and the teachers who’ve touched my life and told me that at best, I would never amount to anything more than a ditch digger or a gas station attendant. I’d like to dedicate this to the English teacher that laughed at me when I was a kid. This is for the people who said I’d never make it out of my own way. This is dedicated to a group of men that sat at a round table and predicted that I would die both young and horribly, which by the way, I’m still here and last I heard, in some ways I can say that I’ve outlived you all. Right?
With regards to me or who I am, the answer is simple. I am just a man. I am common and yet, I am unique. I am someone on the road stuck in traffic and wishing there was no such thing as rush hour. I am a person who works for a living. I have bosses. I have responsibilities and bills and the same relatable headaches that come with everyday life. I have to pay taxes the same as everybody else. I am like anyone else in this world. I have hopes and dreams and fears and insecurities. As a matter of fact, I have placed this all here in a collection of essays that you are about to read. I have lived with different challenges to which I’ve learned to overcome. Life is life. My Mother taught me this. She also told me, “Nobody ever promised you a rose garden or a parade.” Mom died on June 10, 2015. She’s in the book too.
I love music. I love food. I like to try new things. I love to dare the line and I love the underdog and good comeback story. I like the idea that anyone can change at any given moment. Anyone can defy the odds. But time is finite. This means limited, so we should all beware of this because it might be later than we think.
I am a person in recovery, which means that I have a past. I have met some of the most amazing people in the world. I have seen good times and bad. I have learned new ways to live but more than anything, I’ve learned that I have the right to reinvent myself at any given moment. I have the right to remain or change or become anything I choose. This is a right that we all have. However, I find that people rarely take advantage of this right. Or maybe we forget to. Maybe we forget that rights like this can never be taken away. We can go or stay. We can change, adapt or evolve. We always have the right to improve and no one has the right to stop us. I like this right. I think it’s important.
Now, back when I was a kid, I lived on a farm for about 11 months. This was no ordinary farm. No, not at all. This place was both therapeutic and educational. This was a place for kids like me who were in need of help. As much as this place taught me what to do with my life, I also learned what not to do. This place was far different from any other experience. I went through changes here. They cut my hair off. I had to be up and out of bed with my bunk made and on the go by the count of 20. We had to take quick showers that were no longer than two minutes. There were no stalls on the toilets so everyone in the bunkhouse knew each other exceptionally well. This is where I gained some and lost some. This place is where my Father came to see me a month before he passed. This is where an old piece of me died and a new piece of me began. It was here that I learned an interesting definition of the word humility.
I was told that to be humble means to be honest about yourself. I was told that humility is honesty and modesty is simply the absence of pride. Now, in fairness, I cannot say that I am always humble. I can’t say that I’m always modest either. But here, if for nowhere else in this world, right here, if there is ever a place for me to be honest and modest, I figured this is the best place to do it.
The idea of being a writer is very special to me. I understand that to each their own. We all have our ideas and opinions. Not everyone will dig this and that’s okay. There will always be critics but then again, there will always be someone out there, brave enough to dare. And I say this beats the critics each and every time. We see things our own way, which is fine. I can only say that my goal is to share some of what I’ve seen with you, both honestly and modestly. So, without further ado, these are my stories. And this is my bedtime story for the insomniac.
Enjoy . . . .