Thursday, February 17th – 12:30 am
The LCD of the clock on my bed glare at me with such temerity that I wince.
I think back and realize this is a ritual that has been going on since mid-December. That’s two months. Nearly two months that I have dragged my ass into bed, dropped into what should arguably be a good night sleep and woken but three or four hours later.
And then, not be able to return.
For two months now I have been denied an entire nights sleep. Sleep that lasts longer than four hours. Sleep that allows me to recover, my mind to freshen, my head to clear, my sanity to remain intact.
This time, on Wednesday night, a.k.a. Thursday morning, my sanity shatters. It’s pathetic really. Like slapping limp toilet paper onto a razor cut in the hopes that somehow will curb the leaking of precious fluids.
I crawl out of bed after tossing for a half-hour in the hopes that maybe, just maybe, I would return to sweet oblivion.
Apparently the only way I will achieve oblivion is if someone plants a .45 caliber pistol against my cranial plate and pulls the trigger.
I diddle a little on the computer, playing some computer poker and then reading a few websites.
At 4:00 am, EST, Greenwich +5 Mean, I lose it.
I think about waking my wife but sleep is precious to her as well and it wouldn’t be fair. The tears and the gasps of sleep deprived mania are harsh and hot and come without any effort. In fact an effort to stop them fails miserably.
This goes on for approximately thirty minutes and somewhere deep in my resolve I muster the will to admit that if I don’t sleep soon, someone is surely and truly going to die.
Thursday, February 17th – 4:15 pm
I worked all day. My tolerance for stupidity and people and all things that I handle better has bottomed out from insomnia. The next time someone even thinks about telling me I don’t know what I’m talking about could very well be the public moment that I snap.
“I’m sorry, sir, we can’t allow you to test.”
The man stares at me with beady little eyes and purses his lips causing his greasy little mustache to pump back and forth like an overactive merkin. “Well, you’re wrong so you better let me test before I proceed to make a scene and disrupt all the other worthless scum inside that room.”
My eyes roll back in my head like shark eyes. My hand reaches out, quickly retrieving a handy pair of scissors from a black jar next to my computer and I plunge them three times, in quick succession, through the soft meaty part of his temporal lobe, cleaving through bone on the third attempt and swirling grey matter into a carrion stew.
His body slaps the carpeting with a satisfying thud.
My co-worker screams.
I really need sleep and my wife makes me call the clinic and get a doctor’s appointment for tomorrow.
Friday, February 18th – 9:15 am
The nurse stares at me.
“Yes, ma’am. I said that if I don’t get sleep soon it’s very likely that I will kill someone. When it happens in the middle of the night it’s okay because no one is around, but my temper and my tolerance are worn almost through and if I’m in public too long it could get ugly.”
Her hands shake as she grabs the prescription pad. “Let’s put you on Ambien and we’ll have a check up in three or four weeks to seeNo, scratch that, maybe you should give us a call Monday to let us know how you’re doing.” She smiles, but that smile says, “You’re a dangerous psychopath and we need to get you off the street.”
I nod. “Yeah, that’s good. But, this is short term. I want a permanent fix to this. No one should have to live like this.”
“Now, when you say kill someone do you mean that literally or ?”
I look at her. My eyes are dead. I haven’t slept in months. Is she seriously asking me this question? This isn’t a pity party. This is a nightmare. “What do you think?”
Her writing becomes more frantic and she visibly sighs as she finishes scratching on the pad and hands me the note.
Saturday, February 19th
Slept for five hours. Woke up every half hour after that but not constantly awake like the last two months.
Hell is the monotony that is sleepless in all of us.
I know. I live there. I have all my life. At times I feel I’ve conquered it. At times I feel that I know what needs to be done to assume a rested and resourceful mind. At times, like an addict, I look at the temptation and say, “Oh, just a little won’t hurt me.”
At times, I think, life is actually good.
Sunday, February 20th
Same as last night. Apparently relief is dwindling. Haven’t trained in nearly a week. My heart, head and body aren’t in it. Of course, my heart, head and body aren’t in anything right now. Even sex doesn’t lift me. And what idiot in his right mind is going to refuse sex with my hottie wife.
She’s the real gem here on earth. Don’t look any further.
Monday, February 21st – 12:30 am
Here I am again. Same as before. Same as always. The ticking of the minutes as they churn by. I’m glad I don’t own an old-fashioned clock. The very thought of suffering the tick-tick-tick of time grinding visually and audibly by is enough to cause my breath to pump out as if I’d just run a marathon. My lungs heave like the bellows of some hunted beast. My eyes dim and swirl, the ground around me rushing up. I’m vaguely aware of my head bouncing once on the hardwood floor and then I’m sitting up, cross-legged, staring at the ceiling fan above me.
In that very moment, if one of my neighbors were to consider coming in from a binger or leaving for a late night run to Fat Mickey Ds, I think I would go on a spree of violence and carnage that would tear open the sleepy little hollow of the Wildwood Community like a ruptured opossum who just wasn’t fast enough.
I know now why I don’t own a weapon.
Monday, February 21st – 10:30 am
This morning, sleepless again. My eyes like sandpapered satin.
And just when I get to my lowest, just when I think, “I can’t do ths anymore. I can’t. I can’t think. I can’t eat. I have no strength to make myself do things I should do (how long can you put off taking out the damn garbage?) I just can’t do it.”
Just when that moment comes along, a little bird named Krista whispers across the internet.
I know now is a really hard time for you. I love you lots, yet I know God loves you more and wants to comfort your heart in the midst of all your inner struggles. The outer ones will be okay – the other opinions don’t matter–though I know your own opinion of yourself is probably where you find your worst critic. It’s always going to be a struggle to live with some aspect of our earthly lives–they are just all piled up for you now as they have been for me at times in the past. We’ll un-pile them slowly, together when you think I can help, you and God when there’s nothing I can do.
Love you more than words can say.
How can you argue with that? If you try, keep in mind that I haven’t slept in two months and remember I am very tenacious, pissed off and scary. I can hold a grudge and track your sorry ass down for a long, long time. Don’t argue with it. You can’t. It’s futile. You’d lose or I’d kill you, but either way, you lose.
Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow.
See you then.