a very very short story
The room should be cold and dark, like an untended grave; more silent than the finger of death. That’s what all the advice articles say to combat insomnia. Still I lay here, counting something…
I tried to focus on my breaths like the books say, but I can’t hear them anymore. They’ve faded into the night as my relentless mind stubbornly cling to the waking world. The hours for witches, for the dancing dead, for the nocturnal animals to prowl their elements pass as I flip over. Time is different in the ink of the night, each heartbeat could last for a nanosecond or an entire day. It is impossible to discern the passing of minutes into hours, or hours into day.
But the glare of sun, the proof that I once again failed, always cracks the drawn blinds of my tomb never reaching my partially opened eyes. Daylight, another chance to struggle for the unreachable peace as I again rise from my shroud of twisted sheets empty of sleep.
Lonely. Am I lonely? I am alone, but does that make me lonely? I can’t remember.
Day is not night. Of course it isn’t. What a silly thing to think. I’m so exhausted, common and uncommon sense allude me. I can’t remember when last I slept. Was it before? Or have I ever slept? Can one go their whole life without sleep? It’s on the cusp of my memory…no, it’s gone. It was never there, not in the ethereal daylight. Only when the sun slumbers, as I roll through my internal rolodex calling up every wrong, every fear, every hurt in my life, can my memory return. Only them am I properly alive.
I stand before the bed -- my bed -- my untended, unused bed, and watch the last drops of light from a lonely world spilling across the dilapidated carpet. I am lonely, but all I can ever be is lonely. A form lies on the right side, on my side, curled inward as if reaching its knees could have stopped the inevitable. The eyes are partially open from the dehydration. The skin is the texture and color of ham jerky, with a few wisps of hair fanned across the molding pillow. Day to months to years; it is forgotten, abandoned, lost.