Sleepless Nights & Cloudy Days

I used to sleep through every night and through every sound. Caressed by darkness and falling heavily to the music of nature – the pitter-patter of rain, the roar of thunder, the howls of coyotes. Now, I awake every hour – dark corners haunting me, nightmares growing, cold air biting at my cheeks and nibbling my neck. The city sounds don’t cause me to drift away.

I travel up two sets of stairs so I can hear his heartbeat fight my solitude. I still cannot sleep, but at least the corners no longer haunt me. Here is where the city lights creep through the windows and the hot air lingers after its ascension.

He does not notice me there. He mumbles and moves to give me room, but in the morning he’ll wake and, with concern in his voice, ask me what brought me here. I’ll tell him of my insomnia and loneliness. His concern will visibly lessen. We both know this is welcome after my previous instabilities.

We’ll rise together and make breakfast and enjoy coffee and our presence on the back porch. Wooden stairs beneath us, we’ll look out at the sun, the green grass, the seedlings I will inevitably let die. I’ll watch a passing train and consider where it has been and where it is going. The smell of spring is all around. He’ll return to the indoors to wash dishes and prepare for the day. I’ll stay on the wooden panels a little longer. I’ll wish the sun would shine like this forever.

I will wish that. I am wishing it was today. As the clouds turn on and off and on and off again, I wish they would dissipate enough to let some warmth through. I am exhausted and I feel like the sun could transfer some of its endless energy to me if only I could see it. I picture a pinhole in my mind. Just one hole in the clouds where the sun burned through so it could reach me. So it could reach earth.

But that is only in my imagination, which does not impart energy to me. So, I am left to try to wake myself up after nights of little sleep and incoherent days. I start to drift away only when the sun is out and the world beckons me to contribute to society. I don’t know if I can today, so instead I write this mess.

Honesty

I’ve sought out honesty
For every moment of my 21 years
I only wish to be able to trust
And be trusted in return
The faith of a child is hard to come by
I’ve betrayed with careless words
I’ve heard dishonesty from all around
My candor is never quite right
Either hurtful or still withholding
He meditated, ring around his neck
I saw my life grow in solitude
I had so much to consider
What words will stay true to my heart?
My mind? My soul?
None that I have heard
None that I myself can voice
And so I stop speaking.

Haunted Basement

Alright, there is nothing natural about wanting to kill yourself. But when it isn’t a gradual decent into despair, instead it is an immediate plunge into suicide notes and holding knives to close to the skin, then you know that something else is at play.

Have you ever had a basement that just really vexes you? It tickles you the wrong way. I just moved into one and unconsciously coupled it with my depression.

So, I had not had suicidal thoughts in quite a while. I must say that Prozac + regular exercise + good friends + some intensive therapy + the end of THAT freaking winter really did me a lot of good. I have been feeling great! Other than the occasional moments when I decide eating gluten is a good idea and my intestines hate me for the next 24 to 48 hours. But that is a different story.

Back to this basement. I fell asleep on the couch after watching a documentary on Wild China. Beautiful sights. Beautiful music. The narrator was nice and God knows they scripted for him better transitions than I can write or dream. So, to say the least, I slept peacefully. For about three hours. There is absolutely nothing abnormal about this. I have come to accept the fact that I can only sleep in three hour segments and then I awake wired like a middle schooler after two Monsters or a Five Hour Energy or one too many caffeine pills. I could use one or all of those right now.

Anyway. I woke up after my restful sleep at 5ish and rolled over on the couch in irritation and attempted to drift away again. I knew this would not work, but I still try every single morning between 3:07 and 5:32am. I know I will be exhausted later on in the day and need a nap. Happens every day.

At around 6:30am I decide that my memory foam mattress in my basement lair is much more appealing than a two person couch with my legs draped over the arm rest. I travel downstairs and curl up with Vincent Frederick Ferdinand III (my beloved green and pink dinosaur that has such a huge head that he can’t stand. I put him on his four legs and he simply falls right on his face. And I thought I had balance issues.). Within a few minutes, I am debating suicide. No joke. Laying there in the pitch black of the basement, my arms curled around Frederick, I cry one tear out of my right eye and stand to the anthem of insane suggestions running through my head. I haven’t heard any of these since before my Prozac kicked in.

Serotonin, why have you forsaken me?!

I walk up the stairs, leaving Frederick behind, and grab my books and phone and iPad and made my way back downstairs, stopping at the knife rack on my way through the kitchen. Weapon of choice in hand, I lock the door to the basement and return to my lair.

I decided to first write down what was bothering me. A suicide note of sorts. I got out the notes app on my iPad and began typing away. Then I got distracted by some ecards and huge lol and looking at pictures of celebrities without make-up. That last one really made me feel better. So, I set my knife down and went upstairs and laid down with my roommate to try to find some sanity.

After getting out of the basement, I immediately started feeling better. And not just in the “I am so glad that celebrity looks like crap without make-up” way, but in the “yes, I actually want to be here” way. Maybe hearing the heartbeat of another human being was all I needed. Maybe I need to up my Prozac dosage.

Those are plausible, but I am deciding to bet on my basement being haunted. I said two posts ago that I write to fight the demons in my head. Maybe I am actually writing to fight the ones in my basement. Damn basement is creepy. And I have to go down there to take a shower. I really need a shower. I don’t want to go down there anymore.

Shower time… Wish me luck! And sanity.

Home

The smell of incense from the floor above
Animal crackers on the paintings
“STOP & think” the wall tells me in bright red
Octagons across the wall
Fans on the ceiling
Clothes spinning dry
The blinds are broken
They never close
Old fashioned lamps and bass amps
Another instrument playing itself out of tune
Saddles and helmets and strings
A scattered basement
A blue ottoman disguised as red
Remotes, power tools, and bamboo mats
Spiders: in the corners, under your clothes
Blue skies shine through the windows
Visitors come and go
From finals, to finals
Studying and learning and bustling
Planning out life
Cheating death until that final moment
Sleeping in blue and black
Silence and dark
Nightmares that leave me sitting in bed
Wondering what my subconscious wants
Dawn comes and I can finally drift away
Though this sun leaves me burnt and alone
Solitude that will always remain
Loneliness like a lullaby

Demons & Writing

In high school English classes I wrote essays about my future as an electrical engineer. I would shape the world. The inventions I would design would find their way into your smartphone: your pockets and life. I would be financially secure in this field of work. I would be prosperous.

In the midst of a growing depression and tedious college courses, I realized that engineering would not bring me happiness. I would never design and create the things I really wanted to: the time machines, the infinite and clean power sources, the space ships, or even a “Jurassic Park.” If I became an engineer, my imagination and creativity would die on the doorstep of the company that I chose to work for. I would not be able to travel and adventure and live as I pine to. Instead, I would live for the sake of filling my pocket with some gold to spend on a typical house with a typical white picket fence in a typical world.

I don’t want typical. I do not even hold onto a desire for a house. And the bureaucratic nonsense surrounding engineering and science and technology is ridiculous.

I told God my plan to be an engineer when I was ten, and, inevitably enough, he laughed at me and put me in a different direction eleven years later. A number of pieces collapsed within my head and all around me and I found within my mind’s eye a knot, a knife, a gun, or maybe just a jump. In the end, my keyboard is actually what won. While I was supposed to be studying electrical circuits and differential equations and Japanese, I instead wrote pages and pages of pathetic pining and whining that I will never share that tell of chemical imbalances and complete changes in perspective.

And so, I write because otherwise I will die. I write because I want my life to be marked with the honest communication that I share with people, not a small contribution to some electrical equipment. And I am going to continue to write until something comes out right and I find whatever it is that I am looking for. I am going to write about worlds that don’t exist so I can take myself and others away. I am going to mold my own path and find my own way without trying to reach standards society asks of me. I write to beat the demons inside of me.

Love

You pretend to understand me as a child
You give me away freely to your friends
You claim me as the answer to your problems
You wish for me-beg even
When you finally have a glimpse at me
Hold me intimately for just a moment
You are terrified
The thought of my loss is petrifying
The memory of life without me is immobilizing
So, you grip onto me tightly
You squeeze and you hold and you pray
You exert all your effort and time into me
But I can still be lost
Within only a moment
Another heartbreak, another end
Another change of perspective, another growing apart
But if I am lost
You know that you will only search for me more
The memory of me is all you need
To convince you that I am why you are living