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.

Topanga

Halogen yellow bursts

of light, turn signals

burn bright, through

white lines of Topanga

Morning sunrise, her and I

up all night, we rise

like silhouetted tree

under the belly of LA sky,

gaze upon a sea of fog

clouds, shower faint

hallucinations of

spontaneous future

Travel

October. Topanga Beach

Be the air of peace we’re all capable of breathing.

I recently came across a post stating, “this is a bad year.”

Though I don’t disagree that bad things have happened this year, I can’t fully commit to such a bold statement as the entire year being bad.

Or perhaps, I’m just looking at it from a more critical standpoint?

A protest for example, is a collaborative effort between cultures standing together for justice.

The police force has made efforts, though not always headline news, to reinforce their code of conduct: to protect and serve.

Most citizens are respecting the rights of others, choosing to wear masks, in the fight against COVID-19.

The government is making attempts to sustain our American way of life through relief programs and continued unemployment benefits—even though at times it may feel like not enough—granting enough security to survive.

I’ve seen a number of portable facilities spring up in mainly homeless areas of Los Angeles, which does not solve the issue, but certainly shows hope.

What I am getting at is even in our darkest times, there are signs of hope.

Hope which we can and should not disregard as a complete and utter bad year.

If anything, I’d say, there is an awakening taking place.

What I see from an observers eye is an awakening of people who, regardless of the hardships, struggle, and inability to make concrete sense of all the senseless acts that have been occurring, realize a need for change and progression forward as a human race.

We are all struggling, regardless of another’s grass, I repeat,

we are all struggling.

But with struggle comes realizations. And with realization comes understanding. And with understanding comes progress.

Through common ground and communication I know there is hope, for you, and I, and the suffering on all sides.

It struck me odd today when a friend told me they envy my ability to travel where in turn I assured them, not everything is as it may seem, and that I too am struggling, only I choose a different point in which to view my current state of awareness.

You don’t have to travel far to climb a mountain or swim in a lake, or wake to see the most beautiful sunrise, or even lend a hand to someone less fortunate, because these are natural and always there waiting for you to take action.

Rather than saying, “this year is a bad year,” I suggest taking a deeper look and the time to realize that progress is happening.

And though progress may seem difficult, remain hopeful, my friends.

Be honest with yourself and your loved ones.

Greet a stranger as he were your family, with arms stretched wide in abundance.

Be the light at the end of the tunnel, the light which shines even in our darkest of times.

Be the air of peace in which we’re all capable of breathing.

Be courageous. Be kind. And be hopeful.

Boat at

Tell me a story

There’s a part of me

that see’s this all clearly

like a child standing in a crowd

there’s really only one way out.

What is it that you see

it’s fine to disagree

why if the world’s mine oyster please

forgive me for the lack of belief.

I had this faith in you

I thought you had it too

how many smiles does it take to show

the unhappiness we grew to know.

Do you take this hand

would you understand

lighting matches just to prove you could

did it ever do you any good?

Tell me a story, one without love, cause it’s taken me for granted so many times—enough.

There’s a part of you

engrained in me now

I’d be a liar if I didn’t admit

it’s a piece I won’t ever regret.

So what’s the point of these prose

and insecurity poems

like a fish needs water to breathe

I guess it really isn’t up to me.

If this is just a passing feeling

I’ll agree to disagree then

watch the sun rise and fall once more

a couple hours then I’ll start the chore.

You see I know my problems

it’s not up to you to solve them

if I go out the Hemingway

like Kerouac first I’ll have my say so

Tell me a story, one without love, cause I’ve taken you for granted so many times—c’mon.

Tell me a story, one without love, cause it’s taken me for granted so many times—enough.

a lone bird

There’s a lone bird

chirping somewhere unseen

and a cold gentle wind

scratching at my knee,

it’s the crack of dawn

sunrise

another day I’ll see,

and though my throat hurts

my ankle weak

I too sing a little tune

with that lone bird

just to let him know

I hear him.