“Hurricane Henri is predicted to arrive early Sunday,” I said to my kids.

Be careful Mom they chimed in from the other coast.

I’m so excited. I don’t care if Henri isn’t well behaved. He’s invited, and we will be ready. “I can’t wait, I wish you were here. (“OMG, I’m so annoying, I have to stop saying I wish you were here — but I laugh to myself, since they can’t come at least Henri is coming”)

Guest Henri requires some prep. We prefer a short stay but hope he’s not too irritable. I fill the car with groceries, batteries, grab the last flash light from the drugstore and wonder about that bad decision to NOT spring for the generator.

The deck furniture is tied up and we’re ready.

We charge our laptops and phones and download the new series Nine Perfect Strangers. 

Lying next to my husband I mutter, “I know this Henri could cause harm, but still, I’m excited. I feel like we’re in the orchestra at a big broadway show that has gotten huge reviews. And like most shows, we settle in, get cozy in the dark theatre and wait. And right on cue, we quickly drop into a synchronized snore.

And then it is 3 am and i’m wide awake. I go out to the deck to check on Henri. He’s coming, I can feel it. The winds are beginning to blow.

All adrenalized I tuck back into bed and move deeper into my new favorite thriller on  Kindle….“The Last Thing He Told Me.’

I read til 5 in the morning, I can’t put it down and all around me the winds swirl and my husband snores.

Lately I am nourished and calmed by fiction, by thrillers, by anything that takes me away from the reality of world events. And now it’s Henri who transports me.

I don’t take Ativan, I don’t take anti-anxiety medication and it’s not that I don’t need it, it’s just that I have my late night strategies to calm my middle of the night worries. My mind is cleared when I read a good book and thinking about Henri coming settles me down. 

“Seriously Felice, Thrillers and Hurricanes are calming?” I mutter to myself.

Yup. It turns out this is the prescription that works. A strong dose of Who Done It’s and natural weather disasters is an antidote to my unsettling thoughts about this friggin Variant and booster debate, about whether or not to go to the weddings, a party or visit my kids. And it keeps me from texting and calling to check in about how the kids are feeling and the baby’s runny nose and waiting to see the result from their latest test. 

So it turns out that these new strategies for coping with reality are working. I chuckle to myself acknowledging that immersing myself in thrillers and awaiting Henri is the best coffee break  from Pandemic insanity Part 2.

And so as I lie and wait for Henri and read my who done it in the wee hours my mind is surprisingly free and clear.

When I Can’t Sleep: Hurricane Henri & Late Night Thrillers was last modified: by

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