I’ve been sleeping with Raymond Chandler for some years, now. That’s what I call my sleep apnea bi-PAP machine. I even bought a silver-tone charm shaped like a book with “Raymond Chandler” on it, which I attached to my machine’s carrying case for easy identification in any possible luggage jumble.
I’m sorry today’s “story” is so lame; that’s the way random prompts and daily stories go sometimes.
Sleeping With Raymond Chandler
by Marian Allen
It was about ten o’clock at night, sometime in October, with the moon shining and a look of hard wet rain on the fallen leaves. I was wearing my monkey pajamas and fuzzy pink argyle-patterned bed socks. I was ready for a big sleep, and I didn’t care who knew it.
I hadn’t been sleeping well, waking up snoring, or with my heart beating hard enough to break a rib from the inside. It didn’t make for sweet dreams.
I had been to the sawbones. “Sleep apnea,” he said, which turned out to be sawbones lingo for waking up snoring or with your heart committing battery on your ribs. For this, I paid him a ten-spot.
He sent me to a sleep lab where they wired me up like I should have been sitting in a metal chair instead of lying on a mattress. They strapped a mask on me that took me back to those fallout shelter drills everybody used to have, gas masks and survival crackers and that strange new item: water in a sealed bottle.
I slept like a baby on Benadryl.
So here I was, a machine next to my bed that cost more than my mother’s first car, crawling under the covers, ready for another three-way wrestling match between me, Old Man Morphius, and sudden apnea death.
I strapped on the mask. I switched on the machine. Air pushed into my mouth and nose, like spring breeze.
The next thing I knew, it was morning. It was like being clubbed unconscious, without the headache.
I named the machine Raymond Chandler, because he created The Big Sleep. I would never sleep without Raymond Chandler again.
A WRITING PROMPT FOR YOU: A character has trouble sleeping. Why? What does he/she do about it? Does it work? Or does something else happen as a result of the attempt?