It’s that time of the evening…

Bedtime (BT) minus 15: I’m freshly showered, shampooed and girly-shaved. My hair has been brushed 100 strokes and my face carefully cleansed with Pond’s Cold Cream ($6.98). Additionally, I’ve applied Cream of Cucumber-Kiwi-Oatmeal-and-Vitamin E ($89.95 which my favorite starlet hawks on late-night television, and her skin looks like a baby’s butt).

Sliding the creamery butter-yellow microfiber You Snooze, You Lose! chin cradle ($38.64 online) into place, and securing the button on top, I reflect that finally, after a month, my under-chin does feel a bit more taut. I think.

Now it’s time to pop in my Like-Life-Nighty-Nite Mouth Guard ($39), which the oral surgeon promised will prevent grinding my teeth during the night. He would have made the device for cost several hundred dollars, but I opted instead for a drugstore version… a life-like material that I first dipped in boiling water. After it was safely cooled but still pliable, I gingerly molded it in my own throat, struggling to not gag. The pleasant lady at the corner market recommended this product; said it completely stopped her husband’s grinding, enabling her to sleep well.

I pray that I don’t somehow swallow it during the night. The package promised that the chocolate-amaretto fragrance would mask the rubbery taste. It doesn’t. Nor does the rubbery compound feel even slightly like any human flesh I have ever touched.

BT minus 13: Having been rudely informed, once, that I snore like a lumberjack, I insert a soft little Nostril Gateway ($39/pair), into each nostril, and for extra security, place a small butterfly-shaped tape ($9) across the bridge of my nose, to ensure that the nasal airways remain open. Late-night television commercials assure me that these cute little bandages will subdue night-time rumbling.

BT minus 10: However, to be absolutely confident that I won’t offend should there be an opportunity for overnight hosting, I also use the Snore-No-More Mouth Device ($189) which holds  the throat open. In fact, there was one version called the Deep Throat Mouth Device, a naughty hot pink. Too much, I thought.

The salesman assured me I would soon be accustomed to the device, and in fact, eventually I would be lonely and bereft without it. That time hasn’t come yet.

BT minus 9: I slip the Seafoam Green satin pillow case ($19) over a standard white Fine Egyptian  Cotton case ($34.99 for a pair) so that early morning does not find me having a Bad Hair Day.

BT minus 8: I also carefully insert the tiny cushiony Quiet-Time Earbudslugs so as to block the frequent sirens outside which might intrude into my dreams, evoking scenes from the movie “The Towering Inferno.”

BT minus 7: Time to set up the A Long Night’s Safe Sleep CPAP machine ($1,289), after rinsing the reservoir and refilling it with sterile water ($11). Then I set it aside for a minute because next I must carefully fit the Sweet Slumbering Sleep Mask ($49) over my eyes, being careful not to let its elastic strap get caught up in my curls. This will shield my eyes from bright lights outside. The sleep mask also contains a soothing gel to prevent tiny worry lines, permitting me to go forth tomorrow morning armed with confidence.

With the Sleep Mask firmly in place, it’s time to set the CPAP harness over my head taking care that it doesn’t get tangled with the sleep mask strap, nor the chin cradle. This is easily the most delicate part of my bedtime ritual because it would be difficult even without my eyes being covered.

I am determined, and persistent.

After gently laying my head on the molded Always Perfect for YOUR Head foam pillow ($32.99) at the elevated head of the bed (four library books, two under each leg), the CPAP machine is switched on.

Serenely I count cadence as it steadily ramps up to a count of 14, my personal sleep setting, feeling myself slumping gently into drowsiness.

BT zero:  Oh, crap! Hell and damnation! I forgot to call the concierge to order my wake-up call!

BT plus 1 and counting…


Mary Willis Cantrell

I have always been a story-teller (Southern born and Irish descended) and a dreamer (e.g.,  Democrat in dark Red state). btw, I am aka Cokefloat since I am safely retired from a major soft-drink company well-known in the Atlanta area. And I've finally decided to come out of my closet... to date most of my writing has always been in the dark. Some ghost-writing, rewriting for others, copy-editing, contests, The Vent. That kind of thing. I want to put my stories down on paper, at last, and maybe even see a dream come true. Yeah. Like my candidate will finally win. Sure.