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.

You just have to live.

Being sober’s

as overrated

as being drunk—

nobody wins.

You just have to live.

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

So it seems here, now, in the mornings clean light, where all that I can do is observe—in nature that surrounds—human nature take its course.

I spent a good portion of last night, mooring with the tide, tied to emotions, most of which surely weren’t mine to suffer, though, like a good little buoy I did all I could to stay afloat.

But what causes a man to harbor such feelings of faithless dread.

Sympathy? Empathy? Selfless, selfishness?

Isn’t it funny how even when no one asks us to suffer, we often choose to suffer.

Could it stem from guilt? Plausible, though I think not. Depression? No, because I could still move. Trauma? Not in this case, as it had nothing to personally do with me.

Perhaps than maybe deeper, beyond the physical self, far from age or reason, like roots grown deep within the soil, always there yet invisible to the naked eye.

So then what?

Let’s take the current state of society in which the mind is placed.

We are and always have been reactionary beings, jumping to conclusions without fully taking the time and energy to understand or explore where these irrational compulsions come from.

So the year is 2020 and we are still at one another’s throats.

Not a day goes by that I don’t get a phone call whether or not I am willing to vote. Not a day goes by that I don’t see one side of the argument ready and willing to cut the other’s throat. Not a day goes by where I don’t get the impression that peace is just dependent on war, like an inside joke I just don’t get the humor.

So it’s within this grey area that I swim where both sides of the equation continue to expel these deep seeded emotions from within.

Had it not been for the open minded, tirelessly educated guidance and good nature of a mother, I may have gone another way years ago, though still I stay afloat while the undertow continues its torment.

So it seems here, now, in the mornings clean light, where all that I can do is observe—in nature that surrounds—human nature take its course.

I know who I am. And I know my intentions are good. Sometimes our actions speak louder than words but for most of us, words just don’t seem to be heard.

But that’s no reason to destroy what you can’t control.

So for those who cannot express or explain this current state of extremes we face both alone and together, I suggest this: be a beacon of hope.

Because what we know today, with or without our help, will surely change tomorrow.

So even in my darkest hours, I know, hope will never falter, light will find a way, and tides will turn, if not now, then surely another day.

Alone and writing.

Let today be a reminder

Let today be a reminder

that bravery

sacrifice

and we the people

bleed as one, heal as one

and mourn together

as one

for a better tomorrow.

I am whole.

No longer is the time

to judge what we do not understand,

but rather embrace it.

So easily forgotten

is the ability to learn something new

each and everyday.

To venture the world

and to take a chunk of it mindfully

was told to me once,

and though I’ve stumbled

I’ve never forgotten.

Yesterday’s world is no longer today’s

as yesterday’s confusion fades

my compassion continues

and my gratitude grows

with peace and understanding.

I am whole.

What those lost do not say.

Remember me tomorrow

For who I was today

And understand my sorrow

Was never yours to save —

For everyone has reasons

The grieving call them brave

Who fought too many seasons

To end up in this grave

Still don’t mistake this sorrow

I’ve borrowed mine today —

Yet listen for tomorrow

What those lost do not say.

walking the corner of my eye

If that’s not you

walking the corner of my eye

then who? I wonder,

who’s shadow unwinds?

Overhead like a compass,

creation of time. Time

and again, like time were a crime.

Wasted. Lost. Forgotten. Blind.

Memories fade, they never die.

So if that flutter of feather is you,

alright that’s fine. It’s much ado.

So when they ask you calmly why

won’t you share yourself with I?

I have and will, see I am I

unanswered we are now defined.