I tried sleeping, I really did. Using the utmost of my willpower I got into bed at 8.30pm. I waited. Then waited some more. After what seemed like an eternity I woke up to go to the bathroom. Looking at my clock, it was 10.30pm. The question arose, did I sleep for 2 hours or just lie in bed with my eyes closed for that time? No idea. The net result was a fatigue perhaps more enveloping than before. After chatting to my recently returned flatmate for 20 minutes or so, I got a text from my girlfriend saying she was on her way. Did I try to catch 20 minutes nap? Or just stay up? Willpower came to the rescue and I jumped back into bed to catch some much needed rest.
I didn’t get any, but goddammit I tried.
After hanging out with my girlfriend and catching up on the past 3 days, I felt energised and invigorated. I was excited to have her around and everything in my body was telling me to do the opposite of sleep. WILLPOWER, GODDAMMIT. She was tired, so I turned off the light, we both closed our eyes and geared ourselves for slumber. After a few minutes I felt her body twitch. Her breathing slowed, chest rose and fell evenly. Fuck, I was still awake. I turned over, then tossed and turned some more. 1.30am rolled around and I was in no better a position than I had been the night before. Shit. I’m no insomniac, so a fitful sleep eventually came my way.
Then I dreamed.
My girlfriend had left for reasons unknown. I lay crumpled on my bedroom floor in despair. Not my current bedroom, but my childhood bedroom. A strange combination of its various incarnations anyway. The pale eggshell-white walls were there, but with one blue feature wall, the like of which used to adorn the room in my infancy. The curtains followed suit; white curtains with a blue and green carousel horse motif. In walked in my ex-girlfriend, the one I was least amenable to running into. She was there to stay, she informed me, and I’d better get used to it. This didn’t help my state, even feeling the pangs of loss, I still didn’t want her around. It was no comfort. She told me she was working with my mother, so there was no point arguing. She walked over to my dresser and turned to me. “Our collection better be in tact.” She remarked sternly. I had no idea what she was talking about. She pulled open the drawers to reveal an excessive quantity of Cookie Monster soft toys. Big plushies, a door sausage, a pincushion. The strangest object by far was a plushie with the features of a small African child, but with blue skin. Satisfied, she went off to talk to my mother.
My mother, it transpired, was working PR for POTUS Barrack Obama. My childhood home was in fact on the lawn of the white house. My ex was his personal photographer. Old Barry Obama was a pretty nice guy. He told me to cheer up and invited me over to play N64 at the white house projector room. After a few rounds of Goldeneye he apologised for his busy schedule and went off to do president-y things. My dad came in and sat on the couch. We watched a movie that for some reason had excessively low resolution. Why we’d download something so poor, I had no idea. So I half-screened the window and opened another tab to find a better torrent. Dad started piping up about messing with the movie, which wasn’t a good idea. I ignored him as he grew steadily perturbed. The low-res crocodile on the screen emerged into our world and started growling. I awoke with a start.
The sleep had helped, but I wasn’t as rejuvenated as I’d hoped. My girlfriend was still in bed. She woke and we talked about my weird headspace a bit. It was warm and comforting, but I still felt a little off. I got on the subway this morning and couldn’t stop seeing “signs” of ex partners. A woman sat with a DSLR draped around her neck and I thought of my ex. Two women towered in front of me, Amazonian in statue. I thought of another ex. Long, straight black hair. Glasses, blonde hair. Curly red hair. Of course my surreal mental state was seeing things it looked for, but I spent today in a weird funk, finding it hard to access normalcy. It’s strange. As far as I’m concerned these women, while not bad people, are out of my life. If the option was presented to have any of them back, the answer would be an easy no. It feels like a personal betrayal that my subconscious keeps dredging them up. Why? When my grip on reality seems at its most tenuous?
Doth I sleep no more?