Sometimes, I’m awake.

I’m not unhappy.  Nor have I let go of sorrow.  (That cloak is my old stand-by, you know.)

But I find myself wandering in the night.  Why would I leave the bed where she slumbers so peacefully, stretching like a cat and smelling the way she does?  I go to the living room and sit in darkness.  No, it’s not a metaphor.  Here I sit, staring at a screen that’s a little too bright, but damn, I don’t know how to turn the screen brightness down on this thing, and what a fucking first-world problem.

What compels us to leave our partners’ sides?  Why do we seek some kind of — is “solace” the right word? — in blackened rooms with only the moon-lit blinds to illuminate the curves of the furniture?

Not everything sleeps at night.

The cats are awake.  Though I can’t see them, I can hear them, their pitter-patter across the floor, the soft jingle of a toy, the lapping of their tongues at the water bowl.  The dog sleeps as languorously as the girlfriend does, stretched out and breathing a world of dreams.

When I was a child, I was so terrified of being in the dark that I would stop drinking fluids after 6pm to avoid having to use the bathroom in the middle of the night.  Not a single strand of hair spilled over the side of my pillow.  Not a fraction of an ankle ever went uncovered by a blanket to be exposed to the monstrous night.

Darkness was a great fear.

And yet here I sit, night after night, in this saturated stasis that once frightened me so.

I  believe I could scare myself very easily right now.  I could think of disfiguring things, of rocking chairs moving by themselves, of eyes lurking behind doorways.  And yet…I feel a sense of peace that I don’t feel in the daylight.

And it’s in the darkness that the words always come, burgeoning out of me, drawing me up and out of bed like a puppeteer and its marionette.  I always have so much to say, but I never say it because I never think it’s worth saying.  Some days, I think my sporadic writing is for the best.  Other days, I feel I’m doing a disservice to the written word.

If I were a word, wouldn’t I want to be written?

How awful then to be a story, a memory, a lyric, a stanza, and to never be expressed.


… this screen is too fucking bright.


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