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Finally, I was going to bed early. There wasn’t any homework screaming my name, and I’d run out of books to read. For once, I wouldn’t be turning my light off at two in the morning. No, I was going to bed early. Right now.
The light was off and I closed my eyes, so excited to sleep. I would have all sorts of crazy dreams to write about in the morning. My blanket wrapped around me cozily and I burrowed in like a kitten. The silence of my room grew heavy. After a few moments, my wall clock’s ticking got kind of loud, but I was an expert at blocking out noise. Not feeling worried at all, I settled in and was ready to sleep.
I rolled over and sat up, yawning deeply. That had been such a good sleep, though it was too bad I couldn’t remember any of my dreams. But that didn’t matter. It was a new day and I had to get ready. Feeling excited, I looked over at my alarm clock.
The little red glowing numbers shone at me mockingly. I squinted at them and then shoved my glasses onto my face, my excitement starting to weaken. In disbelief, I stared at the clock as it changed from 10:48 to 10:49. Then I glared at it, blaming it for the nasty surprise. Pulling my glasses off and putting them down, I sighed loudly and lay back down, closing my eyes. I was going to sleep.
Tick. Tick. TICK. T-I-C-K. T-I-C-C-K-K-K.
Since when had my wall clock become so loud? Staring up at the ceiling, the sound pounded in my ears like a drum. Kicking my legs violently, I rolled onto my stomach and covered my ears with my pillow. This didn’t work for very long, however, because my subconscious brain, evil as it is, started to fill in the silence with its’ own ticking.
With a banshee-like cry, I tossed my pillow to the side and got out of bed. Storming over to the clock and thinking murderous thoughts, I tore it off the wall and snatched out the batteries. The dead thing sat in my hands now, looking quite harmless. I put it on my desk in disgust, along with the batteries, and then stormed back to bed.
At this point, I told myself that I just had to stop looking at my alarm clock. It just told me what a failure at sleeping I was, and really, it wasn’t in control of me, so why should it bother me so much? It couldn’t control me! I would stop looking at it!
As soon as I decided this, of course all I wanted to do was see what time it was. It was suddenly like having an addiction and I did my best not to give in. Sadly, I finally gave in. 11:03.
My frustration was making me feel very violent and upset, so I knew that I had to calm down. Maybe some warm milk would help? Of course, that would mean going all the way upstairs, to the kitchen. Maybe I could do without the milk.
I had just about finished warming some milk in a pot when suddenly my mother shuffled out of her room. “W-what…are y-you doing?” She mumbled, blinking heavily against the small light I had on. Sighing, I said, “I can’t sleep. I was just warming up some milk.”
She mumbled some more and then finally said, a little bit louder, “Well turn the light off….it’s too bright.” Then she turned around and went back to her room.
Rolling my eyes, I quickly put the milk in a cup and turned the light off. Quite confidently, I felt my way back to the stairs, trying not to spill as I did. Feeling quite triumphant as I stepped down the last step, I didn’t watch where I walked as I went to room. Apparently, my little sister had left her shoes lying around.
Needless to say, I gave up on the idea of drinking warm milk to help me sleep.
Cleaning up is always harder when it’s late at night and you’re tired. Finally, the milk was cleaned up and I was back in bed, the light off. I lay there, listening to the cars driving by our house. I did my very best to think calm, soothing and sleepy thoughts. I could still fall asleep. I was going to. My determination was bound to put me to sleep.
I was wide awake.
There was no getting around it. Sleep was as far from me as the Earth is from Pluto.
As if the pain of this realization wasn’t enough, my brain decided to start playing a song over and over again, just to add to my suffering. Of course it’s Katy Perry’s “Wide Awake” and this only makes me more angry. It was like my brain just hated me and decided to make everything worse.
I hated my brain.
The minutes went by and still, I didn’t fall asleep. I didn’t even feel remotely tired. Despair at how tired I would be tomorrow filled me and I started singing some sad, lamenting song. The song started in my brain, but then I started singing out loud, the words getting slurred and ridiculous the longer I sang. It was like I had become drunk on wide awakeness. I was a very sorry sight.
It was time to start talking to my brain, to try and trick it into going to sleep. The conversation went something like this:
“Okay brain, we realllllly need to sleep, so that we won’t be grumpy tomorrow.”
“Yeah, well, I’m not tired.”
“Well, I know you’re not tired now, but seriously, tomorrow is not going to go well if we don’t sleep.”
“I think I’m gonna start remembering the lines for the play now. Because we need to go over them. And after that, let’s go through tomorrow’s to-do list, and stress about it.”
“Brain, I hate you.”
Too much useless time had gone by and I finally sat up and turned my light on. My eyes didn’t even need to adjust all that much, which was just sad.
I decided to do some writing. Maybe I could write a sad poem about the state I had fallen into. But as soon as I picked up a pen and had some paper ready, my mind blanked. I sat there for about three minutes, just staring at the white surface. Nothing was happening. The words weren’t flowing like they usually did.
I guess the writing side of my brain had gone to sleep without me. I scribbled a little bit, grasping at any words in my mind but nothing productive happened. So writing wasn’t an option.
At some point, an evil headache had snuck its’ way into my brain and was resting there comfortably. I tossed and turned and soon, my blankets were so twisted around me that I became claustrophobic. I went perfectly still, trying to understand what was going on. However, because my brain was so numbed by lack of sleep at this point, all it could understand was that I was tangled up and was probably about to die.
Legs and arms flailing, my blankets fell in every direction, along with all my pillows. Now I was tired, cold, and majorly angry at anything and everything.
Storming out of my bed, I was determined to tire myself out by doing some sit ups and jumping jacks. It didn’t matter how many it took, I would tire myself out sooner or later and then, if it was the last thing I ever did, I would go. To. SLEEP.
My not-so-thought out plan didn’t make it very far, because I hadn’t turned a light on. Before I even took two steps away from my bed, I tripped over my laptop cable. In a dramatic effort to keep myself from falling, I reached out my hands and grabbed the first thing they reached. Unfortunately, I had grabbed my bedside lamp, which flew through the air as I fell.
The last thing I remember thinking before the lamp knocked me out was, “Well, at least I’ll be getting my sleep now.”