Monday, September 14, 2009
Sleeping Badly – Part 4
It’s late, and I can’t sleep. My mind races and chases sleep further away. My empty stomach rumbles, and that’s not helping. My wife’s periodic, convulsive fits of coughing exacerbate the problem, and I move to the living room to get away from the coughing, to sleep on the couch. I’m suddenly terrified by the weight of my mortality. I’m 28 years old, safe, healthy, strong, and scared of dying while lying on the couch in my living room at two in the morning. I think about what it will be like to die, and if I’ll be ready for it, if I’d be ready if I had to die right now. The absurdity of needing to be ready for something so absolutely inevitable occurs to me. I laugh at myself. I just can’t get my head around the permanent end of myself, though. I hold onto the thought, and I focus on it. I begin to panic, but I sustain it. The street lights are coming through the front windows of my house, and the plant on the windowsill is casting a shadow in the wall. The shadow is moving a little every time a car passes, and it’s actually a little bigger than life size. It looks like a massive cluster of insects, teeming on the wall, framed in moonlight and headlights. I hate insects, but I laugh again. In this solitude and comfort, I want nothing more than to sleep.