Asleep

My thoughts get going at night, when I’m too tired to control them. Most of the time I can fall asleep and let them run on autopilot; tire themselves out. By morning my brain’s fuzzy and mostly empty, except for scattered memories of silly dreams. Scary dreams, wistful ones. They seem like they could be meaningful, once I spell them out to my sister or someone. But of course they’re not. They’re pent up creativity I can’t let out.

But other times the thoughts and ideas have too much to run on, too much fuel. I’m not ready for school; I lost something important; I went to bed angry at someone I love. They rush about in a turbulent blue and magenta stream from my temples, floating out into my room to attach to the ceiling or float out of my window. I lose all my senses and my body becomes foreign. I am still in my body; it is still me, but it divides itself up into twenty pieces, little building blocks cut out of yellow wood. I become lost in a blinding, swirling sandstorm, or I am hung up in a jungle, swinging from leafy vines. I grow cogs and levers instead of elbows and ears. I can see so far. I can leave my body and grab onto the blue and magenta strips of consciousness, the only part of me that I know is real and solid. Occasionally I catch snippets of my room: the red numbers of my alarm clock, the curve and breath of the blankets as I turn over. But these things confuse me and so I squeeze my eyelids against my inner eyes and follow colors out of my head and uncomfortably human body.
Once I am there I can contemplate, I can seethe and wonder. I can take the inside skeleton of my life and rearrange it to create one massive algebra problem that is so easy to solve. Of course I can never remember the answer.
I find orange cardboard wings on my shoulders and I soar out to discover truths. The ground rolls beneath me. I speak to my favorite friends, ones that I thought were lost. They are happy and we laugh comfortably; we speak of worlds, of myself. But then I have to leave and I remember that I forgot to ask them the One Essential Question. And now they have disappeared, even to my razor eyes. So I sigh in disappointment and angle my wings against the wind. It carries me home, the western sun making my back ache. I drop softly to a pine-needle floor, quietly shedding my cardboard wings. Blue knuckley clouds are tumbling through a glowing, marble magenta sky. They make me irritated. Really, I’ve known what do to all along.
I open my eyes. My legs burn to move.





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