*I'm a Marxist of the Groucho variety
Groucho Marx and I share a deep dark secret: beneath our cheerful veneer and outrageous wit, we struggle with chronic insomnia. Well, not so much him anymore because he's dead, but you get the drift. I mention Groucho in this space for three reasons: (1) My father, being the conscientious and caring parent he was, weaned me on the Marx brothers and I realized this morning that I had yet to mention them once; (2) Groucho was Jewish; and (3) I had to find a Jewishly-related way to gripe about my insomnia on our blog. Admittedly, kvetching itself is a Jewish enough activity to merit its inclusion on the blog, but I'm an over-achiever.
Famously, when he couldn't sleep, Groucho would call people up in the dead of night to insult them. I simply torture my roommates until they flee. Whenever I get depressed about the sleeplessness, I ponder other famous insomniacs (other insomniacs who were famous, unlike me, who is not): Napoleon, Lincoln, Kafka, Van Gogh. I wonder whether my inability to sleep indicates that I will one day achieve great things: emancipation of slaves and saving the union, writing a short story about a bug, being committed to a insane asylum where I complete my most vivid work before offing myself, or creating a vast empire only to lose it in an ill-conceived march on Moscow in the middle of winter. On second thought, maybe it's better if I just get some sleep.
Speaking of genius insomniacs, everyone should check out Alan Berliner's Wide Awake, a documentary about his struggle with insomnia in light of his nascent fatherhood. The first reel on the website perfectly illustrates my brain when I lie down at night.
Meanwhile, I'm going to go drink some more coffee. The person benefitting most from this recent bout of sleeplessness: Oren (clearly, also a Jew).