I am so tired I can barely comprehend exactly how tired I am. I went to sleep this morning after work and then woke up two hours later, and I've been awake since then. I'm a bit loopy.

I took a "black mole" caffeine pill a couple of hours ago and it only succeeded in making me feel sick. I've been drinking decaf Earl Grey tea and smoking cigarettes since then. I'm working tonight to cover for the other night guy who covered for me last week so I could celebrate a work-free birthday.

I think I'll stop working at around 2:00AM, and take an Ambien. The circumstances under which I will be taking Ambien are good; awake for too long, empty stomach, in need of sleep. These together will almost guarantee that I'll have an Ambien stupor for an hour or so. Ambien stupor is, for me, not unlike an acid trip, only more visual and less mental. The last time it happened, I sat in front of my computer and looked down a long, blurry tunnel at my monitor. I looked at pictures of baboons that had blue faces, like they were holding their breath for too long. I like monkeys.

The monkeys always come and visit me after I've taken Ambien, and they sing epic tales about life in the jungle, and about their brethren currently in captivity in the zoos and research laboratories of the world. Sometimes they recite Shakespeare and Sartré plays for me; other times they paint their faces white and don form-fitting, long-sleeved shirts and act out pantomimes. I love it when they climb the invisible rope. Some of the monkeys speak to me in Spanish, and they share my love of hot sauce. Now and then they spread a blanket on the floor and invite me to their picnic. Indeed, they produce a grand spread from their wicker buttocks basket, usually consisting of watercress sandwiches, tomato soup, puréed leek, and whole garlic cloves. Now and then a monkey in a business suit knocks on my door and tries to sell me the latest and greatest in vacuum cleaner technology, despite my protests that I could never afford such modern marvels.

When I am very close to sleep, an orangutan in a nurse's uniform draws a bath for me and provides an exotic assortment of scented soaps and bath salts. While I bathe, he idly swings an incense brazier around the bathroom, making it smell of opium. I drift off into sleep to the sound of the monkey grinder's nickelodeon, which to my addled brain is like unto a chorus of angels singing the praises of the almighty Jebus the Christ.

When I awake the next day, the monkeys have all gone home. They never call afterwards to thank me for a great party, or to invite me to their monkey hovels at Audubon Park. But they always return, always eager to please.