I’m laying in bed, just starting to slip gently into the first wave of sleep. I am just beginning to feel heavy like a boulder being cradled by the earth. Through the fog wrapping around my mind, I can hear it. Tap, tap, screeeech…
Immediately the gears start their grinding trying to identify where this most rude interruption to my peace is coming from. The window! There’s a small storm outside, I can hear the wind howl around the my personal fortress. The walls are my guards against the outside world. But the tapping and screeching pierces the volume of the storm.
What is it? It’s just the tree outside the window, yeah. That’s it. But that storm sounds like demons running through the neighborhood – haha, that’s funny. What if it is one of them trying to mess with me. Haha. Yeah, funny…yeah.
Now I’m awake enough to open my eyes – I love looking out that window in the morning, when the sun is just starting to warm the earth. To feel at peace with an old tree who has been home to so many innocent little lives. But now there’s some evil in my tree. I can’t seem to find the memories of peace, I can’t see the good.
And then shadows start dancing across my walls where pictures highlight distorted faces leering at me. And little whispers sneak up on me from the back of my mind. “I’m just being silly.” I’m an adult, I don’t fall prey to wild flings with my imagination. But I do sometimes, I do like flying with the fanciful. But I shouldn’t.
I can’t, I have to be what everyone else has needed me to be. Strong. Confident. Decisive. I won’t look at the faces anymore, it’s just my head messing with me. My eyes trace along the room until I find something normal. The closet! With it’s little door knob, host to all the really boring things like dress shirts and sweaters. Weird, I don’t remember leaving it open. Why is the door cracked just a little bit? Wow, it seems really dark in there. Even though the room is mostly dark, you can still make out shapes – and it’s like the closet is simply sucking that little bit of hope into the gaping darkness. I can feel it in me, like all of the things inside, my own little demons, hiding in there. Taking little pieces of me and tucking them away from the world.
Bah! I can just go over there and close the door. It’s easy, just get up and walk across the floor. But I don’t remember if I picked up my laundry. I was in a rush when I got home, so I just changed in a whirlwind and everything ended up all over the room. What if I trip on something. What if I fall down and hit my head. Or what if this is the storm when evil crawls across the world and hides in shadows. Like the closet, or even under my bed. Just waiting for my feet to touch the floor and grab me, throwing me to the ground and pulling me under.
I’ll just stay here, it’s no big deal. That closet door. The anticipating darkness under me. No biggie. If I left my clothes on the floor, what else didn’t I do today? Now those gears are getting faster, the tapping at my window is harder, wind racing with every thought. My laundry is full, I should’ve washed some clothes. Oh, and I didn’t put the dishes away. I was going to also…ugh. Too many things I didn’t get done. And now the list is getting bigger and bigger, more details of stuff I hate to do but needs to get done.
I can feel that pile in the hamper starting to overwhelm the whole room. It’s another demon trying to get to me. Why didn’t I put in a nightlight, like the one I had as a kid? I can remember these same demons haunting my sleep then. And that little nightlight of hope, I could see that corner of the room so much better. But it also aggravated the other shadows into even worse images than the original demons. I had hope, but I didn’t know what to do with it. Now I don’t even have that in this darkness.
I just want to sleep. How long has it been, it can’t be too late. The red glow from my alarm clock catches my eye – 11:32. I’m wide awake though. Too many thoughts like marbles in a coffee can, shaking and rolling around. If I don’t get to sleep, I’m going to be so miserable tomorrow. I just need rest, then I’ll be fine. But the morning is going to come too quickly and if I didn’t have enough time today to get those things done, how am I supposed to do them tomorrow. I toss to one side, trying to find a way to ignore the clock and hopefully, a more comfortable position.
Got it! I’ll just pull the covers up over my head. It’ll keep the noise out a little better, I won’t see the shadows through my eyelids. I can ignore the closet and all the little “to-do” bugs… Now I can just relax. There’s my breathing. Yup, getting louder in my little blanket bubble in the bed. Just me and more darkness. Just me in the darkness. Just me…by myself. I can hear my own voices so much louder now they’re drowning out the storm.
to be continued…
Photo created by my friend S. Keeney at Junk Farmer Art