Sleep deprivation is a real mind-suck, life-suck, and productivity-suck. This isn’t news. No, instead it’s one of about a hundred things for you to think about at three in the morning. It’s a velvet fog, and not in the jazzy Mel Torme way.

God help people who are suffering from insomnia or chronic pain. I believe Michael Jackson would be alive today if he could just get to sleep at night. Maybe that just goes to show you that all the drugs and money in the world can’t drown out your conscience yelling at you for What You Did.

But what did we do? Not what Michael did, that’s for sure. Nor any of the Ten Commandments. Well, maybe I didn’t properly honor God when I named one of His children Darwin. We were so smitten with his newborn-baby face, maybe I didn’t notice we were also being smoten.

Anyway, thanks to Dar’s new child psychiatrist, we have a new medication regimen for him. And…it’s more or less working. He’s still having terrifying meltdowns, but these are now almost always during session, triggered by his therapist asking him to do something. Outside session, wifey and I give Dar a wide berth, and he is basically behaving.

And the sleep! For the last two weeks, he has slept through the night. I felt as though I was emerging from a fog. Food tasted better. Jobs could be applied for.

Until…last night. Oh well, no system is perfect.

Gave him the usual new medication; nonetheless he woke up at about 2am yelling. But then…quiet. Very very occasionally, maybe twice in his life, he woke up and then put himself back to sleep. Could this have been one of those precious times? Assisted by medication?

I rolled over, tried to sleep. I did fall asleep. I dreamed of driving on 580 in Oakland and not knowing where I lived. Surreal.

Around 4am, I started hearing Dar again. At least it was a pleasant tee-tee-tee-ing, not the caterwauling. Sometimes I think the screaming comes from waking in the dark, though he has a very large nightlight. Sometimes I think it comes from not knowing how to put his blankets back on himself.

I have these new earplugs from Westone, recommended by my friend Mr. Irwin. They look so cool. And they are better than the usual kind. But somehow Dar pierces through them anyway. (It may be time to spring for the $250 kind that Irwin wears.)

I came to Dar’s room, where there’s a spare bed set up for me to lie there, rest, shush Dar back to sleep, and occasionally sleep myself. Sometimes it works. Last night I didn’t feel like it. Instead I asked him if he wanted his iPad. “Uhh-suhh.” That’s his very best “yes,” not something he does consistently even when he means yes. I gave the iPad to him so that we could all be quieter. He started surfing his favorite YouTube channels, mostly quietly. In just that one way, 10-year-old Dar is as much like a 2-year-old as he is like a 20-year-old.

Did I say we give Dar a wide berth? We treat him like the parents treated that omnipotent kid in that one episode of “The Twilight Zone.” Dar’s brother complains about it, and he’s not wrong. How we treat Dar isn’t raising a child, it’s behavior management from the exhausted.

So we’re back…to the velvet. You see your gypsy?

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

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