October 26, 2010

In Which The Nights Have Their Own Ideas

It begins with an extra toss, an extra turn, and too many sighs.  The clock minutes change too many times before they disappear.  It begins with a dream that feels uncomfortable and ends suddenly against a dawn sky.  Light blue and gray skies mix as I roll over.  I move my hands from over my head and place them under my chin, where they belong.  Drift off again, without tagging those hours as a nightmare.  Forget the minutes, the nightmare, the hands by morning.  Recall the distant memory during the third sip of afternoon coffee and then again that night when those minutes begin to grow. 

It grows into tangled blankets, warm legs, and too many sighs that turn guttural with frustration.  The clock hours change too many times before they disappear.  Denial and acceptance roll into each other as I refuse to press play on a lullaby and begin to panic about tomorrow's productivity and dark circles.  When sleep finally comes, it arrives with jagged nightmares that end with my arms over my head and fists clenched in the dark night.  It takes too long to pull them down, to tuck them under.  It doesn't take long enough to fall back to sleep and back into those hours that I've already tagged as nightmares.  They'll haunt me during that third sip of afternoon coffee.

Too many days later, and too many hours passed, I'll find out that last year's lullabies still soothe.  The same ones I found during those nights I memorized the intersections of the four walls and ceiling.  They fill the darkness and rock me to sleep.  Quiet my mind with their notes.  Quiet my heart to a steady beat.  Notes tumble over my bed, but I'm drifting, falling sound asleep.  They'll dance around me all night and scatter at the sound of my alarm.  If I had turned to them sooner, morning would not come as such an unwelcome surprise, but my afternoon coffee will taste like cream and sugar rather than stale nightmares.

Sleep feels heavy and consuming tonight.  I'll slip in quietly and let it wash over me.  A surrender that brings peace, if not a peaceful surrender.  My body finally disconnected from my mind, and a heart without, without, without.  Quiet, still sleep. The kind that needs a hand placed on the back, on the chest, in front of the nose, just to make sure... disconnected but still here.  So still.  Quiet.  Dangerously safe.

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