Insomnia

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3:04 A.M. Faint light from the streetlight outside my window spilled across my pillow and onto my wall, casting contorted, confusing shadows into the darkest corners of my room. This place, so familiar to me in the daytime, when the sun shone and the sky was the color of a glimmering ocean, had suddenly morphed into uncharted and frighteningly foreign territory.


Shapes appeared, disappeared, twisted themselves about. Dark shadows darted back and forth, reaching out to me, running away from me. Were they as afraid of me as I was of them? Swirling silhouettes flowed from corner to corner. I could see them in front of me, yet could never see any of their details. Were they hiding? Were they watching? Plotting? Scheming? Or were they shadows, and nothing but that? Simple, harmless shadows.


My pillow smelled faintly of spiced apples, thanks to the scented candle that rested on my nightstand, which I always blew out right before bedtime. If you could call it that… Bedtime rarely came, always leaving me there alone, surrounded by darkness and his partner in crime, shadows.


Sleep, when it did come, was fitful and fleeting, leaving me hungry, lusting for more. It lured me in with promises of silence, rest, and dreams. But promises are made to be broken, and sleep is a deceitful conman, spinning glorious webs of lies, stranding his victims, lost and afraid in the vast mystery of the night.


3:39 A.M. The rain had been falling for two hours now, the drizzle drumming an erratic rhythm on the roof. The rain was an excellent musician, a better songwriter than any artist on my iPod. Its haunting melody, always in a minor key, echoed throughout my mind as I weaved eerie harmonies, a phantom symphony heard only by me. It played background music while I sang along, humming unnatural tunes, like those heard in horror movies as the disturbed child wanders down the dark, foreboding hallway, white nightgown flowing behind them, candle lighting just enough to see.


Wind. It howled through the trees, rustling the leaves and causing flags to whip about, lashing as if unseen arms were holding them back. It called out to me, whispering my name at first before its crescendo into a vicious wail. It sent chills down my spine and made the hair on the back of my neck stand on end. I could have blamed it on nightmares, but nightmares are dreams, and dreams require sleep. So why lie to myself? If I couldn’t trust myself, who could I trust? Then again, it was just another name to add to the list of liars. Sleep. Shadows. Dreams. Promises. What would my own name mean after being scrawled in below those infamous impostors?


4:42 A.M. Exactly four hours ago, the idea of a night of rest had flitted through my painfully optimistic mind. Now, it was clear that would not be the case. I had been forgotten, left restless and mute, with nothing to do but think. At this hour, the link between my imagination and reality was broken, torn like a fragile piece of paper that had been battered by the wind and was more than willing to give up and let go. Anything natural, tangible, lay broken, crumbled and strewn about like ruins in the deepest recesses of my mind.


Possibility took on a peculiar form in my head. Its mention conjured images of fields. Endless plains, thick with tall grass, and stretching for miles, as far as the eye could see. The meadow, however, was shrouded with a thick fog. Though the end wouldn’t be even nearly visible on a clear day, the perpetual mist kept visitors from seeing more than a few feet in front of them. So much possibility, yet so little to be seen.


This was where the line between reason and insanity became blurred, smudged like fresh ink touched by eager hands. This was where logic was left behind, told to wait, to stay put until morning. Here, I let go of the sensible, only to wander about in the mist of possibility until my lonely hand was warmed by the embrace of fear. Fear was freedom. And freedom was fear.


5:56 A.M. Four minutes. Four minutes until I was released from my prison of a bed. Until I gained freedom. But with freedom came fear. The fear of knowing that the next night, and every night after that, held in store for me the exact same thing it had brought every night for as long as I could remember. The fear of the horror of lying awake, unable to control my body. The fear of the rain and its haunting melodies. The fear of the wind as it called for me. The fear of possibility, the vastness of the future, and the fear of my inability to see what was coming. Insomnia. A curse.

6:00 A.M.





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