Thursday, February 24, 2011

Insomnia or Something Like it

Sleep was eluding her again. It must have been painful the way her body twisted and turned. Her legs would contract and then stretch out again. First on her left side, then on her right. She'd toss, turn and then bolt up in bed only to flop back down again. She couldn't seem to stay still as her body jerked around the bed, twisting up the sheets and kicking the blankets off of her and off the bed.

But even these unconscious acrobatics were nothing compared to the soul shattering whimpers and moans that escaped through brittle lips. A whimper, a moan, a strangled cry. All coinciding with a kick of her quivering leg or a flail of her sinewy arm. She was at war with herself and she was at war with sleep. Sleep was winning yet again.

As she cried out and rolled about she was aware that it was happening. It wasn't really sleep, but she wasn't quiet awake. She was caught in a suspended state of non wakefulness blended with a torturous dash of near sleep. Throughout the night this carried on, and on. When the sun came out and drably painted birds perched on her window to herald the new day she covered her face with her hands and cried.
It was inhumane. These long nights that lacked the deep sleep that brought rapid eye movement and dreams were becoming more than she could bear. It was more than anyone should have to bear in her mind. All she wanted, all she craved, desired and yearned for was a night where she simply slept.

Dreams would be nice. Nightmare might even be welcome as long as they preceded sleep that left her feeling as if she had actually slept. She longed to meet the Sandman. She wanted to have him blow his magical dust into her weary eyes. She needed to close her blurry eyes and have rest for them, and for herself. Her soul needed it. Her mind needed it. Every inch of her being desperately needed it. A peaceful period meant to restore, was the too much to ask? For her, apparently it was.

Her body ached and seemed to revolt against her as she chased sleep from one end of her bed to the other. Sometimes her brain was so beaten and tired that she would often forget her own name and address. Or what she'd been doing mid task.

Laying in bed any longer was pointless. There was no chance of her going back to sleep. If you could call what she did during the long nights sleeping. She did not have a name for it. It wasn't insomnia. But it was not sleep, either. It was slow death, it was maddening. It was an obsession. It was all that. But it was not sleep.

Getting out of bed she went through the motions of being normal. She showered, got dressed, ate and drank her tea with sugar and cream. At eight a.m. she drove to work on auto pilot. Once she was there she tried her best to hide her hate for her co-workers. She wondered if they even knew what they had.

After another long day she headed home. And though sleep tugged at her eye lids she fought it off and forced them to stay open. Gravity and cruel irony seemed to work against her as she waged war against this evil temptation to cat nap. Getting off the couch she started to clean, then to crochet. She would not lose this battle, oh no tonight she would sleep!

If she didn't fight off this forbidden fruit than she'd suffer ten time more than usual. As good as that solid thirty minutes of unadulterated sleep would feel the suffering that would follow would hardly be worth the momentary relief. When the clock struck ten o'clock and she crawled into bed she'd be wide awake.

Her eyes would burn and her muscles would protest. No matter how much she struggled she'd be unable to even close one lid. Not for one second. Instead they'd water, and the tears of exhausted eyes would turn into tears of frustrated exhaustion. The hours would stretch taunt like an over extended rubber band. The birds would come like clockwork to usher in the new day, and usher her out of bed.

Some days she wanted to snap. She'd tried everything to cure this ailment to no avail. Sleeping pill, sleep serums, smelly salves and magic spells. Pleading with God and deals offered earnestly to the Devil. There wasn't anything that she hadn't tried. And if something else came up there wasn't anything that she wouldn't gladly try, no matter how ridiculous it seemed.

She felt that she was running out options and out of time. If something didn't give she'd give in, and give herself over to an uncertain forever. She'd already had a foot over the edge. It would be so nice to just let go and go over. If she were to simply overdose then that would be eternal rest, the deepest sleep. With her luck it would turn out to be eternal damnation for her soul, which would never sleep.
The days turned into months, the months gave into years. Nothing changed, it stayed painfully the same. With each passing year she felt all hope leave her body. She gave up and just wished for death. Sweet death with its unawareness. With the blessing of not feeling, or thinking, or being alive spending all her time pleading for sleep.

Then one day all that changed for her. It was the weirdest thing, because when it happened the lights came on in her head she finally understood. This would not get any better and it would not end. This was eternity and she was caught in its painful grasp. She was at work one day and she finally reached that point. That breaking point where someone decides that they have suffered enough. Getting up from her chair she left the office and climbed up the stairs to the roof.

Looking down she let go. Finally just let go and jumped over. Feeling the wind wrap around her was unreal. She was not afraid and there was no sorrow in her heart. As the cement approached quickly she closed her eyes and waited for the pain and fatigue to leave her body. Instead she found herself laying in her bed. Confused she looked up, and looked around. She was in her bed, unscathed and untouched by her ten story tumble.

Swinging her legs off her bed she looked around the room, her brain pondering the strange dream she'd had. She didn't remember falling asleep and she didn't feel rested. A piece of paper next to her bed caught her attention. Intrigued she picked it up and quickly read the words.

You can not kill yourself and you can not die. You died many years ago.
Putting the note down she had vaugue memories of holding this same note in her hands many years ago. Not completely sure what to do she got dressed and made her way to work.

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