I Dream of a World with Sleep

Bell rings.

Arms stretch.

The tiny hands, nimble in their full capacity were clumsy now, fumbling in the darkness and under the thick fog of sleep.

Contact, then silence.

How things always seemed to go.

Her legs reluctantly begin to shift, to begin the descent from elevated, luxurious warmth to the detested ground below. When her toes graze the edge of the carpet, a shiver rushes up her spine as the draft of crisp spring air penetrates. She silently curses at the window for being too low, then her bed for being too high.

Was nothing ever good enough?

Just as she reaches an almost functional state of consciousness, hand gripping the handle of the shower, water drizzling against her face just as she prepares to enter, she realizes she's forgotten one important thing: her towel.

She begrudgingly puts on her housecoat with perhaps a tad more force than necessary, secretly taking pleasure in the softness against her tired, sensitive skin.

Finally, the ritual is complete and a trance-like serenity is all that remains.

As the water cascades around her like a comfortable cacoon, she feels the security and comfort of sleep with a precarious sense of peace and growing awareness. A state of meditation is achieved, and the world melts away just as soon as it becomes crystal clear.

Emotions are raw.

Spirit is strong.

Suddenly, responsibilities and stress come crashing down on her, the steaming water submerging her in their weight and evaporating all distractions.

That exam.

That argument.

Things sleep had let her forget.

Now the monster of consciousness came to haunt her. What once felt light and surreal was now heavy with the burden of performance.

Hand grabs.

Water stops.

The rough towel is a physical reminder of her need for action. There is no time for indulgence. There is no time for sleep. There never was, and there never will be.

We trudge on, insomniacs of our own volition. Because there aren't enough hours in a day to be the person we need to be while also accepting the person who we are.

She grabs her bag and slams the front door, not sparing a single glance in the mirror for the permanent bags that hang just under her sleepless eyes.