I thought about titling this "Things fall apart," but that seemed perhaps a little overdramatic.

Have been running on about 5-6 hours of sleep a night for weeks now. I can function on that, but not well; I get mood swings, I get irritable more easily, I need more food. (I discovered years ago that food can sometimes serve as a sleep substitute.) Night before last, I dug out my old supply of Sonata, a prescription sleeping drug. After Alex's death a year and a half ago, I was sleeping very little, which made it even more difficult to cope; a sympathetic doctor prescribed me these pills, but only about ten of them. He said that the stuff's addictive, and that one major withdrawal symptom is insomnia. I only took two or three of them at the time; like most sleeping drugs, this one stopped working for me after the second or third consecutive night.

But I kept 'em around, and this seemed like a good time to try again. Sunday night I took one (hadn't slept much or well over the weekend—unfamiliar surroundings, too much morning light), and it gave me all of four hours of uninterrupted sleep. Whee.

So last night I didn't try it again; seemed pointless. And I spent about four hours in the sort of dozy drowse I've been falling into lately—not actually asleep but not actually awake either. Eventually got out a book, and couldn't keep my eyes open for more than four or five words at once; put the book down and managed around two hours of real sleep.

Stumbled through work, mostly a lot more awake than I'd have expected. Had some caffeine in the afternoon.

Rushed home to try to squeeze in some last minute self-education about the issues and candidates on today's ballot—I gotta get back in the habit of looking at this stuff earlier. Rushed out the door with 15 minutes left 'til close of polls. Got in car, drove out to end of driveway and turned left onto my street.

Car died.

Engine just stopped. I figured I'd somehow managed to stall it, so I tried starting it again. It turned over once and then died again. I tried once more, with the same result. (It had evinced no sign of any problems during the 20-minute drive home from work.)

Spent the next ten minutes manhandling the thing into a parking space at the curb—I do like having a vehicle that I can push by myself, albeit slowly. Considered walking to the polling place, but I think it's a 15- to 20-minute walk.

And of course by then it was too late to reach Kate, who I'm supposed to be meeting at a café in three minutes. She has my cell phone number; I'm hoping she won't sit there waiting for me for too long before she calls.

I eventually went back out to look under the hood (because the Check Engine and oil lights had gone on), and I figured while I was there I'd try starting it one more time. This time it caught without a problem. It's idling a little rough, but seems to be fine. But I don't want the engine to suddenly die on the freeway, or even on a busy street, so I'm not gonna take it anywhere.

I suspect that I accidentally let my AAA membership lapse recently. Sigh.

Better go have some food, Jed.

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