*I hope you enjoy this short piece on insomnia and thoughts of ‘her’….
Derelict sounds, the path of nature out my window and the sleeping of giants- my neighborhood; the macrocosm now reduced to window dressing.
Obligations are short right now, so I have the privilege to take it all in, a feast for my oft-deadened senses, this will be a short trip. I’ve been here before, but the lucidity sparks something in my head, all the street lights that hang in the perimeter lurk in the shadows, because I’m too naïve to believe they are hunting me.
Citizens mining the corners and alleyways now subjugated by the cast iron poles, no more restless but lacking the digits to be functional.
My mind buzzes—it actually makes noise, a low grade hum that could pass for amplifier feedback, maybe a Marshall cabinet humming passively while Tony Iommi lights up a fag. My head doesn’t hurt, if it did I would recognize it as a physical attribute- pain receptors need recognized. I don’t hate my brain for failing me, or grating away unmercifully- it’s the viscosity keeping my senses on heightened alert- and I haven’t even got out of bed.
I heard her voice in my head last night, and I thought for a moment I was dreaming. Why does there always have to be a ‘her’ in the story? This was no conflict as kids; little hairless boys who only knew Mom… the only girls we identified with were on some PBS program- not real women. Ernie and Bert didn’t mind being roommates either. They knew something I still haven’t figured out.
She left me here long enough to catch my breath, admittedly, I am a shallow breather. So I lay in bed and allow my thoughts to race… up and down the walls, ping-ponging back and forth left and right of my ever ready cognizance. The moonlight was cloaking the room in its own self-contained light bulb- dull and unsatisfying. In the interest of staying awake I just laid there and counted the patterns of moon spackle that drifted through the thinned out, and dust tainted curtains. They were filthy but I didn’t care. I couldn’t sleep. The night played out like so many before.
Why my mind regurgitated the past, I don’t know. The racing thoughts seemed to have no destination and no finish line and I was hoping they’d admit defeat. The victor to the spoils—who cares? She won out, because somewhere she was asleep and I wasn’t.
My life was never overly consumed with relationships that added up to any significant stretch of time. I was good with that. Freedom isn’t a sacrifice, and it’s not a cross to bare. My life was full in that I believed my true self just functioned better alone. Not loneliness, but independence- the kind where you could take yourself out on a ‘date’ and not worry about how you looked, or how you thought she thought you looked. Those opinions never became concrete until you passed the second or third date, or maybe tussled under the sheets—playing tug of war with each other’s fleshy parts. Ok, maybe I was lonely.
My mind played out every possibility as the sheets clung restlessly to the inside of my groin- legs outstretched in some unappealing pose. The way she touches me… the ink blots telling me (at least) that her and I could be stationary and it would still manage statuesque perfection (the psychiatrist gums her pen and nods in approval). The ripples of skin attached to goose-bumps, because she’s always cold. My heat wasn’t just emanation- it was a protective covering. I could conceal my disinterest at times, and the ramblings that I heard could have been my own—but in that frozen pose where skin nuzzles skin, we found our place.
I reached below into the warmth of the crevasse of my thighs that now revealed a firm erection–nighttime and lying flat always drew the penis into an arc that couldn’t be achieved in daylight—not even with the most attentive partner. The sheets withdrawn, I began to caress and stroke myself until I ejaculated the warm liquid into a pool on my stomach. It felt like I was alive for those brief post-coitus(less) moments. I could release my mind as well. The mind can’t hang onto or focus when the redirection is simply a shallow pursuit- like masturbation.
“She should be here”, I thought.
The senses prick up when the room goes quiet and the sound of skin being temporarily flogged is removed. I let out a breath; relief crept in where the moonlight couldn’t be seen. There is always space for light- the cathartic release prevails when the mind gives way to a carnal shift. The only requirement was the stroke of my fist, not out of hate, but self-love… and sacrifice.
I drifted back to sleep. She was waiting… sometime after REM’s and the grappled pose of my body contorted into a heavy sleep—I would eventually see her there. The small of her back walking at a distance, urging me to follow—and me pretending to care, my sub-conscious having its way with my fractured mentality. I relented as eyelids turned to dead weight, slits that sealed so I didn’t have to be alone with myself anymore… the moon still desperately trying to illuminate the four walls.