I had a rehearsal in Albuquerque, the first with Joy Harjo and her band, and it was fun. As I was picking up my last load of equipment, I hopped up the low stage, maybe 2 and a half feet, but I didn’t see the lip around the bottom. My sandal caught under the lip, and that mashed my toes into the stage as though I’d kicked it as hard as I could. The followup trip and BOOM onto the stage looked a little dramatic, but I played it off like nothing happened and stoically loaded my last equipment into my car. I sat in the drivers seat for a second and when I grabbed the 3 middle toes on my right foot, “something warn’t right,” and pain shot up my neck. I’d broken at least one toe again, I do it at least once a year. Not the biggest deal in the world, I’ve done it since I was much younger and into martial arts and it progressed into a simple symptom of fatigue or wearing glasses. (I’ve never done it through drunkenness, the one sort-of-valid explanation I’d be able to offer, because I’m not a total klutz. Seriously.) I quietly let Larry know, but I kept it on the down low for the most part. I’ll have a cool, gangsta limp for my gigs on Saturday, and it’s sure going to be fun to haul equipment for blocks at a time because my gigs are at high-traffic spots that’ll be hard to get up close to. Fun drive home, too, braking with broken toes, but I lived.

I slept like hell, partly because of the foot, partially just because I sleep like hell. I gave up for a while and got up and did a little work at about 3:00am. I finally wore out and got to bed at about 3:30, 3:45, and slept off and on for a while, much better. I feel someone gently shaking me, and my first thought is, “You’ve got to be kidding me.” I’m never going to sleep through the night. Ever. I turn over, and it’s Anette. She said, “Mocha brought a mouse in.” My addled and half-asleep mind  tried to assemble the idea. No, I couldn’t have heard right – cats keep mice OUT of the house, they don’t bring them IN. This came out of my mouth: “Huh?” My wife patientely repeated and added some details. The cat, Mocha of former “Mocha and Java” fame up until Java disappeared, brought in a mouse and was taunting it in the hallway. It was still alive and making squeeking noises, and it woke Anette up, she’d fallen asleep in the girl’s room and not stirred until the mouse noises. The mouse had escaped into the living room behind the nest of entertainment system wires and Anette couldn’t get it herself. She had a broom and a big tupperware container. My life is a Bugs Bunny cartoon, and I’m a little known character named “Pasty McNosleep.” In the cartoons, my wife throws boomerang fish.

So, 5:00am, at the first signs of daylight and on one or two broken toes and after almost two weeks of latenight/earlymorning sleep deprivation, I was hobbling around my living room trying to get a desert mouse out from under the sofa. The cat had long since lost interest and even when we managed to capture her and force her into the same room, her kitten attention span had long since been used up and we had no choice but to let her back outside. We managed to chase the mouse out the back door, and that was that. After I worked on the computer a little, I zombied back to bed at about 6:00am to try to scrap a couple odd minutes more of sleep before I got up to start it all over again. My daughter often gets up around 7:00am these days, so in a perfect world, I had 60 minutes of sleep available. And it’s not a perfect world. (“I can get 46 minutes if I can sleep…. NOW!. Okay, NOW!”) It sure was beautiful out, though, quiet, pleasantly cool, clear, smelled great. I considered just bringing a blanket outside and laying the bed of my pickup truck, but that would have taken my 60 potential minutes of sleep and made them into 0. Give or take. One of these days, I might as well, though.

The cat came in, hopped on my back, then onto my daughter’s old bed (the one she never used but that is still set up in my room) and fell deeply asleep. Damn cats.

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