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.