A bit of flash writing, in celebration of one of my favorite activities: sleeping. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
To Sleep: An Ode to Early Morning
Everything is heavy. I’m pressed against the mattress, breathing in my own warm air, comfortably squeezed by gravity and my heavy blanket. The light is dim and everything is perfect.
Right now, in this moment, I am only myself. I am not my hands, nor my job, nor my friendships; I am not the number in my bank account (or not in my wallet), or responsible to anyone but myself. I am not even a body. I am a wisp, weighted down only by the memory of a body. With my eyes closed, I am just thoughts in the darkness, drifting in perfect contentment.
This is happiness, or the nearest thing to it, because as long as I stay half-asleep I have no need of emotions, the wanton rages that make me tingle and burn up and down my skin. Anxiety has left me, and all that is left is a deep simmering joy; I am and am not.
I think about moving, why I’m not exactly sure. A moment prior it would have been unimaginable, but my limbs are quickening all of their own accord, so I stretch and roll languorously. There is peaceful bliss in this as well. My shoulders move easily, warm and eager, the muscle slipping around the bone with a welcoming happy hug. My toes point and flex in the squiggly bits of sheet down at the bottom of the bed. My little cocoon of warmth remains, but now that I’ve shifted, one side is just a bit cooler.
This, too, is perfect.
I can hear now. The house is buzzing quietly with its gentle hum. A machine in the kitchen whirring as the electrons zolt by. The wind thrumming against the window in random cadence. A groan from a beam somewhere deep within a wall. Maybe a bird singing a tune as it flutters.
Even behind my closed eyelids, light blooms. The sun is tiptoeing through the curtains which never lay quite flat. It blankets the bed, a little at a time, warming eyelids to a soft red.
I resolve to run from it, so I roll again, hiding my eyes against the dark and cool of my cotton pillowcase, snuggling down closer under the blanket. But this was a mistake; this choice was too conscious and the neurons in my brain take it as a cue that they can begin to dance.
My day marches before me, unfolding like a fabric fan, each panel decorated with a chore, a task. I squint my eyes to force it back, but too late. The nagging questions arrive: How much time do I have before the project is due? Do I have enough toilet paper? What was that phone number again?
I bury my head under the pillow, but any comfort there is lost in the warming light.
The brigade of questions will not stop. There is no choice but to acquiesce.
Begrudgingly, I roll over, sitting up until the blankets puddle in my lap. I stretch and yawn, and my feet find their way to the floor. Momentum will handle the rest.
The day is begun.