I have a memory. A memory of waking up one night, where I had walked to the living room to see my father just sitting there. He was silent. Still. And in the dark.
I had always known my father stayed awake at night. But it was the first time that it stuck with me. A thought that was persistent and almost frustrating. Why didn’t he sleep at night?
At first, I thought it ritualistic. Then I thought it was habit. After, came the assumption that he had insomnia. Eventually, soon came acceptance.
He does sleep. However, he goes to bed in the middle of the night around 4 am or 5 am. Sometimes, it would be even later in the morning. And he just wakes up early when he needs to work and the days he doesn’t, he sleeps in.
For the past two years though, I did welcome it because of my sleeping problems. It did feel better to have a companion when I couldn’t sleep at night.
But there was a difference. Every day I fought with myself, to fall asleep at night. I would often go days without sleep, then I could just be tired enough to fall asleep at least during one night. For two days or maybe a week, I would get better but then like a vicious cycle I wouldn’t be able to sleep again. But he didn’t fight. He almost…liked it.
Even now it’s 4 am at night while I write this. Today my father went in early to sleep at 3: 30 am.
It’s not the, not sleeping at night that worries me. He just sits there. Literally doing nothing. For hours. It’s almost terrifying. It’s so different compared to the society that exists now of where the idea of not doing anything, sitting still for 5 minutes, is impossible. Our hands need to fiddle with something but for him… he does nothing.
I did nag at one point for months to fix his sleeping habits because I was worried for his health. It worked for a while but before I knew it, he was once again awake at night. I did begin to respect it. I started to wonder, maybe it’s his way of recharging or just being content in general. As long as he was okay, I was okay. But that’s the question. Is he okay? I can only wonder. I can only question.
However, till this day…I still don’t know why my father doesn’t sleep at night.