Waking Nightmare

anthony derosaMy insomnia is getting worse and I think it’s pushing me toward the edge of sanity.

Last night I lay awake staring at the red push-pin stuck in the ceiling. I didn’t put it there, I don’t know who did but I know it’s mocking me. Like a sticker on the floor map of a shopping mall, it regularly reminds me “YOU ARE HERE.” I know, Mr. Push Pin. I’ve been here the past five hours and neither one of us have moved or said a word to each other, so either kindly come up with a topic of conversation or get the fudge out. He remained silent, clearly not clever enough to think of something interesting to discuss. I respond by turning on my stomach and presenting him my butt.

You can learn quite a lot about yourself when you’re sitting in a dark room with no one but an office supply to talk to. Often it’s concerning your personal resolve to commit murder if it would guarantee restful nights but sometimes the rare revelation is sprinkled in among the homicidal thoughts. For instance, just last week I realized that I love pistachio ice cream and it has been years since I’ve had it. The same night, I remembered that “Breaking Bad” star Bryan Cranston appeared on a few episodes of “Seinfeld” as the dentist that converts to Judaism. OK, so the last one wasn’t about me, but that doesn’t make it any less important.

I decide to torture myself by again looking at the clock. 5:42 a.m. The sun will soon rise to pester me with questions it already knows the answers to. Didn’t sleep again, huh? Yes. Stared at the ceiling again, huh? Yes. Thought about useless television trivia again, huh? Yes. Argued with inanimate objects again, huh? Clearly.

Hallucinations aren’t uncommon. Projections of your tattered psyche manifesting in the shadows, vanishing before you can focus a gaze on them. I like to think it’s made me a more interesting person but it’s only more likely served to increase my chances of an aneurysm or something equally as morbid, like the infamous head exploding scene from Scanners. Incidentally Bryan Cranston was also in a few episodes of “The King of Queens.”

A truck is backing up outside. I sandwich my head between pillows alpha and omega and wonder if Starbucks fixed the goddamn espresso machine yet because there’s no way I’m making it through today without an Americano. The rays of dawn’s glow penetrate the blinds, prompting the birds to begin their daily rehearsal of that one scene from Disney’s Snow White. Long ago the morning chorus brought upon feelings of tranquility. However, recently I’ve the desire to express my dissatisfaction with their noisy ensemble through 12 gauge buckshot.

It’s 6:13 now. Last call for departures to Slumberton Village. I gave the conductor my ticket, but the cabin door remains locked. It will be some time before the next train arrives. A man in a red overcoat taps me on the shoulder and says “You are here.” I respond by turning away and presenting him my butt.

Insomnia is like a fever dream where the problem isn’t that you can’t wake up but that you’re already awake, so what do you do? The best advice I can give is to ride the wave into delirium until you drift onto the other side. Not as in death or anything. More like the other side of noon preferable.

Doors are opening and feet are shuffling in the hallway. It’s 7:06 and I haven’t made a point yet. I’ll rethink it in the evening. Right now I need to sleep.