I write this blog entry an extremely sleepy man.

One of our dogs somehow hooked up with another one on the street. I saw it and all. Over two months later she has given birth to seven pups, and while they're feeding on milk we have to keep watch over them. This has meant a complex sequence of tasks that involves knowing when to lock the mother in her cage with her kids, when to let her out, how much to feed her and when, and how to deal with our other dog who's gotten lonelier (or more bitter) by the day.

I woke up at half past three this morning. I was, technically, woken up, by the new mother's barking; she wanted to be let out of her cage. She, apparently, had to take a dump. I unlocked the back door and opened her cage, but, as it turns out, her collar has gotten loose, so she managed to get away (and dump at the other end of the backyard). And I managed to lose the padlock to the back door. Well, it slipped from my grasp and it ended up inside the cage with seven rowdy puppies, but I am bleary eyed, and already paranoid, thinking that someone might break into our house and kill me off or something.

I might have fallen asleep since, but it's likely to have been just fifteen, thirty minutes tops. I went back to bed at ten before four. Thirty minutes later, I was still rolling in my bed. I had to wake up at five; I was awake twenty minutes before it.

I write this blog entry an extremely sleepy man.

I do not blame the dogs, although this morning was the second morning in a row I was woken up by a "dog emergency", if you'll put it that way. And it's not the exhibit booth I manned last week either, although I found myself going home late on Friday night - armed with a bottle of beer and a glass of gin and Sprite, in lieu of a martini, in my system - and being asked to pick my brother up at eleven in the evening. I just haven't been able to sleep sound lately.

Over the past few weeks, maybe months, I find myself staying up way past my bedtime. Sure, there are times when I'm still typing stuff up on my laptop at half past eleven at night, but that's the exception. I usually turn in at eleven, and I'm still wide awake, thinking. Thinking. And I'd get scared, and my chest would heat up, as if I have done something very wrong and I feel utterly guilty. It's only me and the blue light of my pair of speakers, hooked up to my iPod, playing radio stations from elsewhere in this planet - and I feel incredibly alone.

I have not been myself lately. I'm irritable. I'm not sure what I'm supposed to do. I don't even have thoughts swirling in my head. It's like some switch was flicked inside me and now I can't operate properly. I can't even write non-cheesy metaphors to save my life. (See?) I feel drained more than ever, and all I want is to stay in bed, electric fan in my face, asleep. I did that yesterday. I went to sleep twice after waking up the first time - and all before lunch time - perhaps to compensate for the dogs waking me up.

But then, I hate being alone. I hate being alone with my thoughts, or what's left of it. I close my eyes and try to rest, and I want to rest, but I think of my late grandmother, and what her final hours must have been like. She had a slight fever. The next thing she knew, she was being rushed to the hospital. She had sepsis, undetected by her doctors despite the frequent check-ups her children pay for. My father's words would play in my head over and over again. "Buti na lang wala ka doon," he told me, because I was supposed to accompany him to the hospital during what turned out to be her last hours. I wouldn't have been able to deal with seeing her have a seizure, as the poison went to her brain, as she gave up a fight she didn't sign up for in the first place. And then, nothing. I don't know what they say about a man that just died still being able to hear for thirty minutes after his last breath. I don't know if it's true. I don't know if we get a slow fade or a smash cut. But, definitely, suddenly, ultimately, nothing.

When I close my eyes and fall asleep, nothing. Whatever I'm playing on the radio will fade away without me knowing it. (I set a sleep timer for thirty minutes.) I see nothing. I know nothing. I might dream - at least I know I'm living another life, but I remember none of it, and then I'd wake up two minutes before my alarm sounds. I'm awake again. I'm still alive. Great. But I want to sleep some more. But I have to get out of bed, and have breakfast, and take a shower, and get ready for work in the next hour, especially if I want to beat the traffic - something I do not have control of, especially if everybody else is acting slowly.

I want to sleep some more, but I have to send emails, and drag mouse pointers, and think of angles, and make sure I have my math correct. I have to maintain my existing relationships and make new ones. I have to care about the world, even if everybody tells me I should not, or at least not to the extent that I do. I have to put topical treatments on my bald spots, and get some exercise, and make sure I have enough money to do all that I want to do, and all that I have to do. And, in the end, I have to go to bed, grapple with my mortality, get scared, lose, and do it all over again.

We're often told that we have control - perhaps more than we imagined, or were taught - over our lives. You feel satisfied with where you are, with how you brought yourself to where you are. And then the challenges come up - the old ones you brought along, the new ones that you encounter - and you think you can seize the moment once again, and be the better man, and make things better, but there's a point - and that's the point where I am, I think - that, ultimately, none of it matters. You have no control over your fate. You can not beat the challenges you face. You're only left with opportunities, nothing more, nothing less. You're just circling down the drain.

I finish this blog entry an extremely tired man.

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