Insomnia: A Short Story

The television’s on.

It’s freezing in here.

I should probably be asleep, but I’m not.

It’s 4:53. It’s always 4:53, when, click, the heat turns on.

Now the draft from the window’s competing with the dull heat, which smells like last years dust, pouring through the vent, above the door, which leads to the living room where the TV’s still on.

In about an hour the sun will be up and it will be another morning.

I can’t tell yet whether or not I’ll be excited or scared, but either way, I have to write my grandmother—thanking her for the letter she sent a couple days prior—she used to fill the cards with glitter but doesn’t anymore…

Perhaps there’s a glitter shortage, I don’t know.

I’ve been pulling my beard out again, which I don’t like, but still do. Why? A doctor would probably claim it’s nerves but by this point in life I know better than that.

It’s funny really, thoughts, how they come and go as easily as a hair can be plucked from your chin.

If I had eggs in the fridge I’d probably boil some for breakfast but I don’t have any because yesterday while shopping I’d debated prices in my head for what seemed like too long to be debating prices of eggs, causing an uncomfortable feeling I just couldn’t shake, making me anxious and aware that I’d been standing in the isle for what seemed like eons though was probably only a couple minutes, still, too long to be debating whether or not I wanted to pay 2.39 or 2.99 for a dozen of eggs.

The heat feels good now, while the right side of my face warms up, the left side is still dealing with the draft from the window.

Common sense tells me to close the window though my better judgement says to just let it be. What’s the point, really?

It’s 5:06 now. It’s always 5:06.

The repetitive nature of this statement keeps recurring in my mind as if the idea isn’t fully mine, though I use it anyway.

Perhaps it’s my conscious mind coming back to me? Perhaps it’s programming I just don’t have the strength to deny, either way…whatever.

It’s 8:08 on the East Coast. My mother’s probably pouring coffee, reading the morning news. My brother’s probably already dragged himself from bed and into work. My nephew’s to school. My sister-in-law to her studio where she makes jewelry from metal and her imagination.

Their routine gives me comfort because right now I don’t have one.

This pandemic has us all in a pretty weird state of affairs, though, my affairs have always been pretty weird now that I think about it.

At least I’m writing again. That’s good.

Everything is pretty all right right now—knock on wood.

And what if this is as good as it gets? Hog wash.

At least it’s warm in here, closing the window, watching the sun rise.

My nail beds are long. I’ve always been told that. “You’ve got piano hands,” they said once, go figure, I don’t play—if I did this would probably make for a better story though, well, you know.

Turning off the TV seems irrational as it’ll just get turned on again tonight, unless, unplugging the TV—Ah! That’s better.

Insomnia, it’s the breakfast of champions.

Now, where was I? Oh yes, the letter.

Streams

Whatever stream it gets to you by,

it’s still a stream—leading nowhere

to some, somewhere to many, and

to others it’s—already there.

Florida Sunset, 2018

Miraculous People

What I saw that day, my mind insisted were people,

running back and forth—silhouettes—they were equal.

What I saw that day, I just couldn’t conceal

their shape was mine, it almost didn’t seem real.

See original thought comes before the prequel,

because the love we’re born with exists before evil.

What I saw that day, sure I know they were people,

while my beginner’s mind worked, I couldn’t help but feel

—their heart’s skip beats—my heart was healed,

by what I saw that day on a beach filled to equal:

coexistence at birth, we’re miraculous people.

Artistic illusions

Make my bed

Spread the sheets

They are white

They are clean

There’s a nestle of bird

Who sing softly and sweet

There are bills

To be paid

Overdrafts

To be made

But I’m conscious today

Knowing that rot can wait

I have given enough love, I’ve wrestled with the thought

Spared quarters like rain to a cynical saint

I’ve got no time to spare

All this death in the air

Has me feeling quite good, transcendentally great

Forgive me but truth is

Artistic illusions

I’ve no cross to bear climbing trees and it’s clear

That I

start to see past

The sun and moon

The sky opens up

There’s nothing left to do

This closure’s my mantra to you.

Wash my face

Clean my teeth

Knock on wood

Once a week

There’s a pub inn Philly

Where I dug my own grave

Comb the depths

Of your hair

Try and act

Like you care

I’ve been watching your play

Mixing tonic with pain

You have given enough love, so much work to be done

Put your suitcases down, for a while and remain

Like a park bench in autumn

Or leaves that have fallen

I’ve got proof there’s a cure, you just gotta find yours

Forgive me but truth is

Artistic illusions

It’s a tale to be told, when you’re young and your bold

And now I’ve

Got to go back

To the way I was before

And now you’ve

Got to go back

To the way you were before

This closure’s my mantra to you.

3:08

3:08

and I’m happy.

Not the smiling sort of

tell-all happy but

the breathing in the moonlight

kind of easiness,

just being, barely conscious

and willing to be free.

And

it’s 3:12 now

and shit,

you know how it goes.

Off the bright side

It’s either on the wagon
or off the wagon.

There’s really no in between.

Conscious breathing is still hard.

There’s no easy way to fall asleep.

And either way,
tomorrow isn’t looking any brighter.