Lullaby for Daniel

My extra son, Daniel, who is away at graduate school in California
Is having some trouble falling asleep (I hope this isn’t borin’ ya).
Anyway, I’m going to take my time this morning to offer him good advice
About how to fall asleep even though your mind is chock full of problems and facts and knowledge and loneliness and computing the odds of eight the hard way with a pair of dice.

So first, Daniel, I want you to lay down on your back and imagine a big glowing ball.
Golden is the preferred color but it could be green or red or puce really, it’s your call.
The ball hovers over you and bathes your body in a soft and velvety glow
And it slowly lowers toward you and the glow gets softer and velvetier and even more luxurious and cuddly warm from the tip of your pastiest pate to the top of your toesiest toe.

Then imagine the ball no more than a few inches from your flesh as it begins to head for your feet.
Imagine the movement is very slow and sensual but you must not so much as twitch on your sheet,
Because the ball must not be disturbed. Be patient and the ball  will go beyond your body and its glow will fall on your soles,
And tiny laser beams will shoot out and etch a fine grid on the sole of each foot, tiny perfect squares about the size of a pore, hundreds of them on each foot and you have to come up with a name for each square and then devise a mnemonic for each name (while ignoring the wisps of smoke rising from your feet—very pretty, these wisps—r-e-l-a-x-i-n-g) and keep reciting them over and over as you go until you can rip out their names perfectly like calling rolls.

Meanwhile, imagine aliens have broken down your door and inserted some kind of long and narrow
Extra-terrestrial Roman candle far up your Nestle’s chocolate gerbil barrow,
They use a bic camping lighter to light their device and refuse to remove it
Until you use the muscles in your rectum to analyze it and determine its dimensions, chemical make up, and atomic weight and then prove it.

About this time you should begin to feel somnolent and drowsy
So go to sleep already or tomorrow you will feel lousy.

—Don Whittington


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