Well you have to quit fooling around now and go to the damn doctor,” Frankie said.
Dustin rubbed his temples as the growing goose egg on his forehead throbbed.
“I’m fine, I just need to sleep.”
“You slept like a log last night. Go to doctor, bae. “
Dustin half listened to his wife while remembering the restless night before. He had tossed half the night until Frankie ordered him out of the bed and he watched Catfish until the sunrise and he returned to his bedroom.
“So good news according to the results from your sleep apnea test and the at home sleep test you are in great shape…” Dr. Bradley said.
“What what do mean. I can’t sleep. I haven’t slept in days. I fainted in a Starbucks for Godsakes!”
Dr. Bradley continued, “good results here. Try a little melatonin and no screen time after nine pm. Schedule with my girl for a follow up appointment in let’s say six months.”
Dustin disconnected the call. Then he threw his cell across the room. Frankie ran and held Dustin as he sobbed.
“So Dustin what brings you here.” Dr. Michaels’ office was in a gay Victorian with a wraparound porch and lots of ferns. The waiting room was hippie chic, pillows, tassels, severe Swedish furniture and macramé wall hangings.
Dully Dustin repeated his story his doctors’ visits his failing health his endless nights. There was a long pause while Dustin examined the psychiatrist and she appeared to be turning over a thought in her head.
“Once I read a case study about a family that couldn’t sleep. It started slowly but as each family member aged they needed less and less sleep until they each fell into a coma and died. “ Dr. Michaels formed her fingers into a triangle and pressed them against her chin.
“Is that what I have?” Dustin’s voice squeaked.
“ no not at all. You were sleeping in my waiting room. Sleeping like the proverbial baby.”
Dustin shouted, “no I was awake! Awake! I read a couple of dusty Highlights magazines.”
Dr. Michaels made soothing noises. “I believe you. But I also want you to know I only have Martha Stewart magazines and this.” Dr. Michaels showed Dustin a picture of him sleeping on her phone.
The doctor gave Dustin a bottle of water.
“Dustin what if your problems is boring dreams?”
Dustin choked. Dr. Michaels gave him a tissue.
“Hear me out. These are weird times. We are all going through things. I say take these eight hours and live your dreams. Pick one thing you always wanted to do and try it. No risk no chance of failure. Try it. Tell me what you love.”
Surprisingly relaxed, Dusty left the old house after his session . With a weary smile, Dr. Michaels watched him walk away and hoped this one would make it.