Monday, August 17, 2009

Better Than Sleep

I wait for them to go to bed, but not just the first time. There’ll be ups and downs. In the meantime, I'll lie on the floor and watch tv so quietly, I have to strain to hear it. She can sleep some nights, uninterrupted, for 15 hours at a time. Other nights, a creak on the stairs is enough to wake the whole household for hours. These waits are the hardest.

I wait expectantly these nights and impatiently. Their sleep offers me admission, but my body is a co-conspirator. Inside it, a lagging Pacific circadian reminds me I’m out of place again. I’ll be up all night and always asking the same question. These things happened, right?

I-75 runs through their backyard and across it, planted improbably in an old corn field, sits a mosque. There were some concerns when the farmer finally sold. Near-native son Muhammad Ali came for its dedication. Sometimes, the police cruiser doesn't even have to stay the night anymore. It’s changing here. Likely as a concession to the neighbors, the Mosque only broadcasts the call to prayer during Ramadan. Rarely, I’ll be home in late summer and I can hear the muezzin.

I'll put down my things and I’ll walk outside and listen.

Make haste towards worship
Prayer is better than sleep
I bear witness

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