Sleepless means I slept in your bed, eventually, studying the cottage paint pale in the moonlight until I could finally rest. I listened to trucks and cars and motorcycles traveling a dark road at a strange hour of the night. They know who they are and where they’re going, but it’s all just invisible sounds to a woman trying to stop her mind from thinking and find her way into anesthetic sleep after a long, good day. I touched your arm.
I started writing something in my head that night, something about my other bed where blunt leaves nod and toss not so far from my window in the wind, a bed that squeaks horrendously if I move my head or blink or think. I began writing a little thing comparing nights and beds and trees and leaves but I didn’t get up to write it down, naturally. I forgot everything.
Sleepless means I’m up at all hours, I sleep at strange hours, I write and walk and eat and drive at strange hours, not avoiding people necessarily, but it happens and I like it.
I’m awake when you’re getting home from a long night out. I see you in uniform heading out for the day. I see you come home to greet your cat on the windowsill, or sliding in and putting on the tube, a movie that emanates from your window, some kind of drama with raised voices that calls me to come and make sure everything’s all right. Sleepless means I heard your fireworks at 10:30 but didn’t look out the window to see; I was reading, and I’m sure you’ll forgive me.
Sleepless means I can tell the time and weather by the sky as I lay prone looking out my bedroom window, heartburn burning, and this morning the birds were full up and at ’em. I pulled on leggings and went outside, felt the air and realized I’d need a warmer shirt so I pulled on the flannel I keep hanging on my chair and took a walk, barefoot, braving the woodshavings and other ridiculous stuff that accumulates on the balcony. The sand was comfortably cool. I picked up plastic bags and threw them away, wondering how anyone could still be using these things. The sun was still below the rim of the teacup but you can tell where he will rise by the intensity of the light. Dogs on leashes because they are naughty, dogs running free because they obey. Neighbors avoid neighbors because it’s a hallowed time, this silent, molten rising.
Sleepless means I pulled on clothes and dragged my phone down to the ocean in case I saw something. I tried to capture the waves breaking behind the breakwaters, for the wind is north, northwest again. The water and air seem to be the same temperature in my lungs and on my feet, but the wave breaks in my eyes are not the same as what my camera sees. That’s all right. I will wander back to my cave and think about things.