12.17.2004

Insomnia.

It is consumption, it is madness.

It eats your muscles and your mind, making you too slow and weak to fight off the countless invisible demons.

I like to think of myself as fairly intelligent, my thoughts often racing so far beyond my ability to express them that I sometimes drop words, sentences, paragraphs out of my writing and speech, absentmindedly I’ll go so far ahead that I’ll miss where I’ve been.

But when I can’t sleep, the million marching legs of my thoughts are cut, one by one. For a moment the synchrony of thought and action is almost blissful, but too soon my thoughts are left behind in a relentless world, leaving me to grasp at echoes, trying to find out where I am.

Everything that can go wrong with the mind, does. You forget to lock your door, you forget to close it, you forget where it is. What have you done? You doubt everything, a sobbing rocking ball of paranoia, before springing up in maniacal delusion. Trudging on, slow and unsteady, your mind wears trenches in its countless roads, you are trapped, repeating, obsessing compulsive. You can get so far behind you will miss hours of your day, no more than ethereal ghosts seen out of the corner of your eye in a coal black room. You wait.

You wait.

But it does not come, sends its desperation to you instead. Dreams are not a gentle ride, nor even a nightmarish fog of persecution. You are flung down a hole filled with gibbering mouths and epileptic television sets, reaching, surpassing terminal velocity, until, despite your need and weakness, you wake yourself up if a fear that, if you didn’t, you never would.

You are trapped between the very real feeling that you are dying and an unholy desire that it was true. You are already dead, and this is hell.

When it passes, when you finally get out of it, you can never remember how. If you were rocked twitching pains of psychic withdrawal or finally collapsed in a weeping pile until a week had passed. A month later you realize you are fine, a little tired, but rested. Memories of it are as sharp and incoherent as a childhood trauma.

And then it starts again.

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