[3:50 am]. I’m taking care of Jett and Cait’s dogs (Joey and Luna) at the homestead in West Orange, New Jersey while they’re hanging out with Cait’s family in Tewksbury, MA. A solitary unit of three (me and the dogs), withdrawn and isolated by weather…reading, writing, snacking and streaming films (Mark Boal’s Echo, Walter Hill’s 48 HRS., William Wyler’s The Best Years of Our Lives and no Brendan Fraser).

The fact of the matter is that we’re living in what I’ve been calling The Icebox or Chill House, i.e., not warm enough since the Arctic air mass arrived a couple of days ago. I’ve promised not to burn any extra heating oil and to rely on space heaters, and so I’m hanging out in layers, jackets, boots, a scarf and my black overcoat and cowboy hat. Okay, the upstairs guest room is warm but that’s all. It’s so chilly here that I’m afraid to take a shower. Nor have I shaved. A little gamey.

Plus I can’t seem to get a good night’s sleep. No more than three or four hours max. I routinely awaken at 2 or 3 am, read and write for three or four and then back to sleep for another three. I don’t sleep at night — I nap.

I was going to say I’ve become General Sternwood in The Big Sleep, coping nightly with “sleep so close to waking it’s barely worth the name.” But I’m closer to a half-and-half combination of Al Pacino in Insomnia and Dennis Hopper’s Tom Ripley in The American Friend. I’ll score some Melatonin tomorrow (i.e., later today) and see what happens.