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.

oh well, oh well. (LOL)

Sometimes I feel like an object of desire.

Sometimes I feel like a down right cruel liar.

Sometimes I feel like nothing ever is

all that bad until then reality hits.

Sometimes I feel sad when you’re away.

Sometimes I feel glad like it’s all the same.

Sometimes I feel like a sad sack sucking up

to the kid with the cool hair that I want.

I don’t know man I guess only time can tell

where we go and when it’s time to give em hell

I just hope that I have the strength to talk

when it comes time to talk who’s gonna walk the walk?

Sometimes it’s all just too much to think about.

Get a real job, good career kid now settle down.

Don’t make your grandmother worry make your mother proud,

even though well hell she’s gonna love you any way.

Sometimes I feel like I’ve got it figured out.

Sometimes I feel like a widow black with doubt.

Sometimes I feel like throwing it all away

if I could just hold out perhaps another day.

Sometimes I feel like Times Square counting down.

Sometimes I feel like a cliche riddled clown.

Sometimes I feel like nothing ever is

but I know better than, but I know better now.

I don’t know man I think you gotta see this through

either way we end up free alone entombed

do you remember sleeping in the afternoon

cause I do I do I do I did and I still do…

Sometimes it makes sense like I’m a wishing well

today it breaks my heart to have to wish you well

tomorrow I won’t lie I won’t be feeling well

then after that who knows I guess

oh well, oh well.