Three cups of coffee in the day is as good as treading water in bed for the night, swimming in place looking for a place called Comfortable, knowing that the letters in ‘please’ can be rearranged to spell ‘asleep’, waking up though you were awake to begin with.
Nights of silly dreams and scary dreams, and recently my sister said ‘stress dreams’ in passing and my ears perked to listen intently as she continued to talk about hers and I suddenly knew the name of mine. If I had tried to tell her about the restlessness in my nightly visions she had been waiting to say she understood, she already knew, probably even before she had coined it for me like before it had been coined for her. I can still smell the coffee wafting from my pores to my nostrils, once a taste, now a smell and still a grittiness on my teeth even after I’ve brushed them and laid down to rest and I know they are clean. Stress dreams…
Laying in bed wondering if I have bed bugs or brought fleas from a neighbors apartment or if the fan is blowing the hair on my arms in ticklish ways, perhaps I’m too warm or maybe the leg sticking out from the covers has grown cold and I should switch it out for the other leg. If I could just get my pillow to lay under me in a position that would angle my neck and back in a way so that they were both aligned simultaneously in a way that was fit for sleep.
Reading a chapter of the short novel by Ray Bradbury that a friend loaned me when I returned the last couple of books I had borrowed and loaned her one in turn, a trilogy actually, one I had already read but would like to read again when she returns them when we swap good reads again. Switching out for another book that I had also borrowed from the same friend but had never gotten around to reading and so hadn’t returned with the others but will surely return the next time after I’ve finished ‘Dandelion Wine’.
A picture of my grandmother framed on the dresser… a picture made of four separate frames glued to poster-board that a friend’s sister made in high school on the same dresser, a dresser scattered with odd items that can’t be called junk but aren’t necessary to set anywhere else… two bikes leaned against each other leaned against a wall hiding a small table with no use but to sit in a corner behind two bikes… clothes that I frequently wear hanging on the handlebars waiting to be swapped out for the sweater or jeans I’d be wearing at the time… a hamper in the corner a quarter full with underwear and socks…
The neighbor through the wall has an alarm that goes off now, is going off now, ten minutes before he has to wake up and begin his day. It will go off for ten minutes before he becomes aware of his surroundings, turns it off. Does he sense in his sleep that not ten feet away a restless and idle writer is writing a few lines describing his morning, every morning, Monday through Friday? Does a light and frantic tapping on a keyboard permeate his dreams… ?
Self-awareness and reproach, a creepy feeling of desperation, a slight unease of delusion as if somehow every soul in the complex could sense at once that someone among them hadn’t been peaceful, drifting easily in lackadaisical laziness with the rest… and everyone knows who it is.