Dear Papa: My roommate keeps talking in his sleep. At first it wasn’t too much of a problem, just the occasional mumble, but now he starts screaming about crazy stuff in the middle of the night. It doesn’t just wake me up — it scares me! Earplugs don’t work (I have an old swimming injury). Should I talk to him or just move out?
—Sleepless in Cedar Park
Dear Sleepless: He is hurt, but there is nothing you can do for him. You can only try to sleep. Say a prayer for everyone you have ever met starting with the person you met most recently. Think of the face of every woman you have ever known. That will not last long. They will all be the same. Think of every river you have ever fished. Every river is different. It will soothe you. The sound of silkworms chewing leaves, or possibly of the merry and drunk young men celebrating victories, will also soothe you until you are at peace and are not frightened. If you do not fish then I don’t care.
Dear Papa: Every time my mom comes to visit me, she ends up cleaning my house! I know that there could be worse problems, but she moves everything around and I think she’s even thrown some stuff away!
—Mama Issues in Mayfair
Dear Mama: I have a woman named Marie who comes and cleans for me and sometimes she moves my things. I tell her, “Marie, do not move my things.” She does not listen. Sometimes she moves my fishing rods. I am angry but I do not fire her. There are some things you can control and some things you cannot control. You cannot control a woman who cleans your home and you cannot control your mother.