It is nearing two a.m. here in sleepy Southern California; however, sleep refuses to have me, or even make a quick acquaintance. I’ve supplicated to its mercy, and scorned its cruelty, neither of which has done me much good — obviously. My mind is restless. I was an insomniac for over 10 years, during which I received treatment in all its varying forms.
There was psychotherapy, of course, where a man I hardly knew postulated to understand the first, last, and middle things about what might keep someone such as myself awake at night. I permitted him three sessions before I declined further services. And then there was medication, the strong stuff. This did me well, sending me into a spasming state of delirium approximately fifteen minutes after released into my blood-stream.
Today I am proud to say I am drug-free, sleeping most nights without the aid of muscle-relaxers and inhibitory medications. This process of weaning, while painful, is one of my greatest achievements in life. If you’ve ever experienced a night without sleep, quadruple that feeling, then once more, and you will have the longest I ever manged to go without sleep. 8 days. There is no cure for insomnia, only trial by error, and infinite faith that sleep. will. come. Most nights I do quite well, but occasionally I must endure; a reminder of the pain that once was, and how grateful I am to have long-since bid adieu. Tonight, though, is one such night, where instead of bidding adieu, I am paying my dues; so I must write. These words in their disparity dance in my head, telling me not what they are, but only that I must put them on the page. This poem will feel like a spill, I should think; an outpouring that I pray will deliver me into slumber’s care shortly after I finish.
I do this now, and thank you kindly for being the ear to validate my restive state.
And so it is with love and truth sharing my bed
that I make haste to chimera, breathing it in were it scented like lavender, ripe as fresh fruit.
A silver spoon, in all its revelry still boasts tang; a metallic bitterness that settles roughly on the tongue’s perspective.
Dizzy and drunk with fixation, I urge the Nothingness to take
Blacken me to this world, and give me the peace in which I so desperately desire.
Why must you creep and coax, taunt and taint, marrying me to your insidious hope?
You have not my interest in mind; only an interest in murdering me with deception, plaguing
all that is pure, stainless, and sound.
Images of iniquity, foreign and oddly familiar, flash inside my mind, reminding
me that greener is the grass.
They are boorish and human, I know, so obvious in their banal humanity, that I hardly care to admit
that I have succumb. Weakened. Am prey.
Not possible, I say aloud, as if the very sound of my own puny voice might frighten away the other voices contending to turn fiction into fact.
A debate commences and I have already lost.
Surrender was the answer . . . the whole time.
What fools they were in taking a word proved to be divine, and making
it an ugly, inept thing.
It was not in fact the plank, as they had so haughtily presumed, but merely the splinter, don’t you see?
For a plank, large and unbecoming in the benighted sap’s eye, was nothing
at all; easily removed should the afflicted care to take notice of its presence. No,
the splinter, an irritant hardly noticeable, killed more that wretched day and continues to do so
rapidly, paying no mind to attrition and intellect, least of all the worthy.
Equal opportunity for all, lest the harrowed be among the merry. A disease
of falsehood beckons and slays me, the worst part
of it all being moment I realize I don’t so very much mind it, welcoming this feigned benefactor into my home,
and seeking him out when he slackens my leash. Oh, the lure allures with bait,
using promise and potency like hat and sunglasses; disguising what is specious.
And I, stupid woman, fall hard on cue
never expecting Grace’s arms to be the ones to catch me. Why not break
that which is broken already; let it be the ruined thing it wants, knowing, that left to its own devices, it will happily chase subterfuge’s forked tail with pleasure.
If I could, I would separate the body and soul, giving the filthy, beastly thing over to its proprietor. I want it
off me, ceasing the distraction which torments and tears me away from peace. In here I hide,
cowering in the corner, the loudness of my projected thoughts drowning the whispers.
I am here,
stunted and starving for something to make the unendurable bearable. I realize
now, that in looking for you, I went to all my old places.
You weren’t there, of course, and why would you be? So instead I ask you to find
You were always so clever at the game, never ripping the door open to scare me into bodily mortification, but first allowing the light, then your face — in that order.
I’m waiting for you, my Love.