For the past few weeks, my sleep cycle has been totally screwed up. I don’t know why. It’s not like I’m under stress, nothing traumatic, no upheavals in my lifestyle. Well, there was almost one when I recently received an e-mail from someone named Anna22 from the United Kingdom. Anna said she had seen my profile on a blog site and thought we had enough things in common to “click”. I was about to get excited thinking that at last, I had found someone with a grandpa fetish and someone to “click” with, whatever that meant. But the very next mail in my inbox was from the blog website apologizing for the spam. The world’s shortest e-mail affair had ended before it began. But I digress.
The sleep interruptions have molded themselves into a predictable cycle starting with the one around 12:30. This one really sucks. When you’ve only been asleep for an hour or so and suddenly find yourself wide awake, you’re looking at a whole night ahead of you staring at a ceiling wondering what the hell just happened to disrupt your dream about Anna22.
Then, like the ghosts of Christmas past, the second interruption comes along right about 3:00 a.m. This one is familiar. It’s the call to the commode. Nothing to worry about here and soon Anna22 is back.
The third wakeup call at 5:30 is the sleep killer. Now it’s only a short time to daylight when the cat population comes alive, demanding to be fed or scratching at the door to be let out. Why? Because some cats I know are too proud to use the litter box and signal their staff to let them out for their own personal call to nature. (Yes, I’m talking about you Brat Cat) At this hour, It’s almost too late to go back to sleep and even though I’m now retired, my body clock is set to seven for the start of the day. But I try for a few more minutes of shuteye anyway. I’m keeping my eyes closed, making my mind blank (never that hard for me), trying not to think about Anna22 when I hear a train whistle. Now the nearest track, as far as I know, is four miles away. You can’t hear a train four miles away (can you?) yet there it is again… and again. After the third or fourth toot, I sense a pattern; two long blasts, then a short, followed by another long. Is it a signal of some kind? Is the engineer blowing secret code to his wife or girlfriend as he passes through town in the dead of night? Is it Anna22?
I give it up and stumble into my makeshift office, home of the computer. As usual, Google has an answer. It is a code but there is nothing personal about it. The sequence of two longs, a short, and a long is required by the railroad at the approach of an intersection. The blasts shall be of a duration no shorter than fifteen seconds and no longer than twenty. Four short blasts? That train is about to back up and you better watch out.
It was disappointing, in a way, to learn that the lonesome whistle in the night had no romantic meaning, no mysterious code to a lover listening from their bed, no lonely woman with a grandfather fetish, not even one from the United Kingdom. My nights just got more boring.