On Carpet

November 20, 2007
By Benjamin Muller, Conway, AR

I was so bored that I just fell to the floor. I literally had so little to do, or such little desire to do anything, that I just collapsed to the floor of my room. Sometimes gravity pulls you so low that the only between you and falling into nothingness is the floor.

As I lay there, I spread my fingers over the green carpet that covers my room. I caressed individual strands, picking off stray fibers and hairs. Then I began rubbing it with my whole forearm. It felt deceptively smooth and glassy as I made crescent-shaped arcs, but I could sense each piece jutting out in its own way, jagged and rough, as I moved along. Soon I was gently thrashing my whole body around on the floor, building up tiny static charges on my clothes. Rolling around on itchy green carpet at least made me feel something.

This was the scene many a night during the summer. You see, summer had played a cruel paradox on me. In order to get back all those hours of sleep I lost during school, I would sleep to my leisure everyday. Everything seems fine until you start staying up later and later, becoming intoxicated on the temptations of the witching hour, and waking up later and later on the other side of the clock, hung over from unconsciousness. Soon waking up at noon looks like an unreachable goal compared to one p.m. One turns into two and two into five-thirty, and then you’ve got your whole sleeping schedule upside down.

The house is totally silent and dark, except for my room. My eyes have that stinging, sunken in feeling from trying to find something decent on television for hours on end. It’s hard when it is three in the morning. I’ve learned to tune it out and just enjoy its static company.

I bury my face into the soft spirals of the carpet. I breathe in the cacophony of scents it has to offer. It’s dry and musty, like some kind of compost heap. It isn’t a subtle smell, and I can feel each particle enter into my sinuses. It smells just like carpet should smell. I lift my eyes up and gaze across its landscape. Some areas are darker and rougher than others, while some are light, smooth, and pure. As my eyes scan over the vast expanse, the light makes it seem alive. It is a forest floor of growing moss.

Rolling over onto my back, I stare straight up at the ceiling. I study the intensity of the aurora my one glass dome of light lets off. It is such a different scene from that of the carpet, yet juxtaposed so close by that I could pluck the bulb right out of the sky. This is my sun, shining down rays of pity on me. While everyone else is asleep, resting up to go outside with their lives and their sun, here I am, locked in this cell of tranquil purgatory, mocked by this artificial light, unable to sleep, unable to bear this boring consciousness.
Summer had taken the life out of me. I had nothing to fill the void but carpet.

And suddenly I see the shade of the night changing from pitch black to the unique shade of blue that can only be seen when dawn cuts through the darkness. It is a color all too familiar to me. I guess it’s time to try to force myself into sleep. It’s so demoralizing trying to get to sleep when the light of day is shining through your window. But at least I know if I can’t succumb to sleep in my bed, I can always be absorbed into the forest floor of my carpet.

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