The Wisdom of the Selectively Nocturnal

I don’t know why it should be, I am sure; but the sight of another man asleep in bed when I am up, maddens me ~ Jerome K. Jerome

They say that knowledge is knowing the tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad. Sister Madly says that knowledge is knowing that you have a panic button on your key chain; wisdom is not setting it off at 3 AM.


Well, she had a good reason: she wanted to know what it sounded like, and Sister Madly never claimed to be wise.

For the past week or so, Sister Madly has been waking up at precisely 2:20 every morning, and staying awake until after 7 (except on Sunday, when she stayed up until 4 AM- while she may not be wise, she’s been known to outsmart herself on occasion.) A Sister Madly of very little sleep often results in a serious of misfortunes, some of them major, which can be difficult to remedy as naps on comfy department store display beds are generally frowned upon.

On the bright side, it is an improvement over her recent nighttime adventures in sleep paralysis. These always begin with the sound- or rather, the impression of a sound- of something running through the apartment, which would then rudely land on the bed down at her feet. The moment she remembers that she has neither a pet nor a roommate is the moment things start to go down hill. Fast.

Yes, everything is nice and paranormal here.

So it was after several encounters with the Rambunctious Shadow Kitty that Sister Madly decided, albeit unconsciously, that the best way to combat these episodes was to become nocturnal. Rambunctious Shadow Kitty never seems to show up during the day.


Well, you got your wish, Sister Madly. Now what? Late nights were all the rage in your teens, but now that you‘re at the tender age of Over 25- not so much. It was fun to stay up until sunrise in those days, or to sneak in past curfew; but now the most depressing sound in the world is the sound of those birds who start singing outside your window at the crack of dawn. So consider this: is it better to risk sleeping in the dark, or to be awake and wonder what’s inside of it? We all know the the logic that runs through your head at 3 AM.

While a Benadryl/Liquor cocktail has proven to be most effective in the past, Sister Madly all too often wakes up to bizarre scenarios and post-it notes scattered about the apartment, leaving her with many questions about the night before. Once, she had turned all her pictures upside down in their frames and hung them back on the wall (at least, she assumes that was her doing.) How different things are from the midnight adventures of her youth, such as the time Sister Madly & Company terrorized the hotel with a video camera and a lampshade.

Upon finding internal lectures on the evils of nocturnalness to be counterproductive, Sister Madly decided to take herself for a walk. She had somehow convinced herself that she would see the Northern Lights, or hear a late summer cicada, but Mother Nature had other plans- even Praline, the neighborhood cat who always approaches her for tummy rubs had called it a night. It was so unfair.


And there it was: her car, like the rest of the world, asleep and ridiculously happy in the moonlight. She didn’t want her car to be happy; its blissful dreams of winding mountain roads were mocking her, she could feel it- everyone was mocking her with their blatant sleeping. Why can’t Rambunctious Shadow Kitty visit them on occasion?

That’s when it occurred to Sister Madly that she had never in her life hit the panic button on her key chain. She didn’t know what it sounded like, and who knows? She may never get a legitimate reason to find out.* Besides, if Sister Madly’s going to be awake at 3 AM, she’s going to make sure the rest of the world is as well.

(*Again, Sister Madly never claimed to be wise. Also, it was 3 AM, the time when the Rationale sets in.)

And no, it’s not insomnia; Sister Madly is just selectively nocturnal.

POST’S THEME SONG: Curse the Night, the Raveonettes


33 responses

  1. Cnawan Fahey

    I used to take mood elevators, now I read Sister Madly.

    Liked by 2 people

    September 18, 2014 at 6:56 AM

    • Sister Madly

      Oh dear. What are the side-effects?


      September 18, 2014 at 6:18 PM

      • Cnawan Fahey

        Inappropriate laughter at funerals and other solemn occasions, a near-phobic fear of dust bunnies, fleeting delusions of grandeur which are dispelled by an overwhelming sense of irony…these are the main ones.


        September 19, 2014 at 12:21 PM

        • Sister Madly

          Well… at least it’s not sleep driving!

          Liked by 1 person

          September 19, 2014 at 2:20 PM

  2. John Thursday

    Brilliant. As usual. There’s a song somewhere in this. Sister Madly and the Bad Kitty. Also sounds like a great band name.


    September 18, 2014 at 8:30 AM

    • Sister Madly

      Thank you!

      It does sound like a band name, which I shall keep in mind should I suddenly become musically talented.

      Also, I hope the song is a lullaby.

      Liked by 1 person

      September 18, 2014 at 6:18 PM

      • John Thursday

        To help you sleep. Of course.

        Liked by 1 person

        September 18, 2014 at 6:41 PM

  3. Ha! Sounds like a grand adventure. There is so much chaos at night in my neck of the woods, I suspect a panic button would simply be ignored like all the other alarms going off. I have had some luck with singing off the front porch at the top of my lungs, however, which does help to establish just who the craziest person in this neighborhood. That’s an important position to hold, because people tend tread a bit more carefully if they suspect you are insane and unpredictable.


    September 18, 2014 at 10:38 AM

    • Sister Madly

      Oooh, I like that! Tell me it’s an Opera song that you sing… 😀


      September 18, 2014 at 6:15 PM

  4. I like this and can relate, especially the Benadryl/liquor cocktails. Thank you for giving me a new way to look at my sleeplessness. Selectively nocturnal. Just brilliant.


    September 18, 2014 at 10:56 AM

    • Sister Madly

      Thank you! It’s always good to hear from someone who can relate- cocktails and all!


      September 18, 2014 at 6:16 PM

  5. Love it … chortling manically cuz … nothin’ good happens after 2:00 am


    September 18, 2014 at 2:58 PM

    • Sister Madly

      I’m pretty sure something good happens after 2 AM- it just happens elsewhere.


      September 18, 2014 at 6:06 PM

  6. A bowl of warm milk will do the trick. Rambunctious Shadow Kitty’s have slurp whir for milk and comfort. Just put if at the end of your bed and put a trail of catnip around your bed, she’ll be so rum drunk and comfort fed by the milk she’ll be sleeping before she ever thinks of you. 🙂


    September 21, 2014 at 7:50 PM

    • Sister Madly

      Sounds like a plan now; however, at 2:20 AM Shadow Kitty and I may be fighting over the bowl of warm milk (yes, MILK, Sister Madly! Is is worth it?)
      … after which I regain my faculties, and invite Shadow Kitty to join me for a pint of cider and a round of darts the next evening down at the pub.
      You, of course, are welcome to join us… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      September 21, 2014 at 8:17 PM

  7. elmediat

    As someone struggling to get his sleep apnea under control – erratic sleep schedule is moving from my middle name to my honorific title E.S.S. – I found the post delightful. 🙂

    May I suggest another approach to sleep paralysis is the study of folklore ( see the Newfoundland tales of The Hag) and the practise of Lucid Dreaming. Lucid Dreaming is a very effective way to chase away …..
    “ghoulies and ghosties
    And long-leggedy beasties
    And things that go bump in the night,”

    The only danger is if you forget if you are awake or not – pinching helps, but the arm can get a bit bruised . 😀

    Sleep Apnea post –


    September 22, 2014 at 9:09 AM

    • Sister Madly

      I’ve heard of Lucid Dreaming but I’m not that familiar with it- certainly would never have connected it to paralysis, but I’m intrigued. Certainly going to look into it- and the folklore.

      And thank you for the link to your post- I found it interesting and really enjoyed the visuals! Hope all goes well for you, so that you may one day dress as your favorite superhero by choice rather than necessity. 🙂


      September 22, 2014 at 2:54 PM

      • elmediat

        Lucid dreaming results in a multiple brain wave pattern that allows the dreamer to become aware that they are dreaming & exert conscious control/interaction with the dream-scape and unconscious mind.

        Sleep paralysis and the Hag syndrome, like false awakenings are a partial lucid dream. The awareness of the altered state does not extend to control/interaction. The next step in preparedness is required. Many indigenous cultures teach their young to confront & respectfully interact with the dream world, which is a form of lucid dreaming. 🙂


        September 22, 2014 at 3:29 PM

        • Sister Madly

          Interesting- wow! Thanks for the info!

          There’s been a few times that I realized that I was dreaming, but that was always the thought that woke me up!


          September 22, 2014 at 3:53 PM

  8. I think you may have my cat. Can I please have him back?


    September 23, 2014 at 10:39 AM

    • Sister Madly

      By all means! We seem to have trouble bonding anyway.


      September 23, 2014 at 1:51 PM

  9. Reblogged this on By the Mighty Mumford and commented:


    September 24, 2014 at 2:02 PM

    • Sister Madly

      You certainly have my sympathy! Especially when the entertainment vanishes and leaves you with nothing to do by stare up at a ceiling fan badly in need of dusting.

      Liked by 1 person

      September 24, 2014 at 2:09 PM

      • AMEN to that Sister! My needs me at odd hours (if only that were as interesting as it sounds) so oft do have something to do! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        September 24, 2014 at 2:15 PM

        • Sister Madly


          Liked by 1 person

          September 24, 2014 at 2:21 PM

  10. Persuasion's Shore

    Pardon my intrusion Miss,
    I’m not really into social networking, so this may be the first/last comment you receive from me. I wanted you to know how very intriguing I find you and your site. You convey your thoughts, even by proxy of Sister Madly quite alluringly. I’m sure you hear that often, but I truly have no ulterior motives, nor do I care if you ever visit my site again or reciprocate. You may even feel free to delete this comment after reading. . . or during if you choose. I must apologize to you Miss Madly. I’ve read many of your posts in the past when I had another blog on WordPress. It was entitled ‘The Bourbon Narratives.’ You visited often and I didn’t comment then and I regretted it. I’ve enjoyed your words and your awesome recipes! I didn’t wish to regret for one more moment not taking advantage of making your acquaintance. The pleasure is truly mine. Have a nice evening and a bourbon later.
    Kind thoughts,


    September 24, 2014 at 2:16 PM

    • Sister Madly

      I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your words, and I really mean that. Thank you. I’m not always one to comment either, so ‘liking’ a post is saying a lot for me.

      I do remember the Bourbon Narratives and always enjoyed coming across your posts. You have a way with words that gives your work a certain poignancy- not many have that. I hope to read more in the future. Take care!


      September 25, 2014 at 2:29 AM

  11. Pingback: Sister Madly and the Bad Kitty | John Thursday

  12. I love your theme song ! … and all the rest of it ! Xx


    October 14, 2014 at 5:15 PM

    • Sister Madly

      Thank you! Awesome band- hope to see them live someday. 🙂


      October 14, 2014 at 7:02 PM

  13. wonderful, loved this, best wishes from baldy:)


    October 16, 2014 at 9:53 AM

    • Sister Madly

      Thank you kindly!


      October 16, 2014 at 2:34 PM

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