The only person who knows how to sleep is the insomniac. Warm milk. Check. Lavender Oil. Check. 10 pm every night. Check. He is also the only person who is awake. Again.
The tingly fireworks of the rainy day have turned into heavy bombs. Boom. Boom. Boom. Pain is no longer poetic when it isn’t tingly. And when it is in heads instead of fingertips. A quiet snore beside me reminds of the night I could have had. The night I should have had. At least the snore distracts me of the ringing noise inside my head. It is a violent protest of my mind against the prison of wakefulness it finds it
The insomniac steadies his breath. One sheep. Two sheep. The Gods are taunting him, as he patiently awaits their mercy. Three sheep. Angry tears roll down his cheeks. The kind of tears that only roll when Gods get cruel. And there is nothing you can do.
Why does time feel so immeasurably long when we fail to sleep? Surely it must be because we cram it with so much wishful thinking that even the smallest parts of a second hold the promise of a timeless sleep. How ironic that wishing for timelessness only yokes us tighter in time’s grip. Like the tiger that wrestles the cobra, resistance is futile. So the clock keeps ticking and we keep noticing.
Slowly the insomniac accepts his fate. That is the order of things. Denial (or rather hope). Anger. Despair. Acceptance. He gets up and makes himself a cup of tea. The ultimate act of surrender as warm liquid in bladders is the surest way to stay awake.
I wonder if Moses was an insomniac. For only a man so troubled by his thoughts at night could write a story about the beginning of mankind that would condemn all humans for their desire to know. Only a man who understands the true burden of the thinking mind would raise the saying ‘ignorance is bliss’ to biblical significance. Poor Moses, I think to myself. Should I really be pondering this at 3 AM in the morning? Perhaps not, but I suddenly feel much less alone in my woes.
As the dawn of day breaks, the insomniac prepares himself for what is to come. The lids weigh heavy on his eyes that sting as if is his mother poured shampoo into them during bathtime. He knows a bad night doesn’t guarantee a good night will follow. Still, he plans to tackle the day with vigorous determination in the hopes that sleep will finally come tonight.
It always starts with hope.