The Side Effect That Is The Inability To Sleep

by Sine Qua Non

Half past seven and I’m not supposed to be awake.

I was waiting when I fell asleep, listening to a song that hauntingly speaks of this little mess we find ourselves in. The song repeats: stay, don’t close your eyes. Stay open.

And haven’t we done exactly that for the last couple of days? Consistently awake with each other while the rest of the world is asleep around us. We are alone where we are yet kept company by the other. We toggled between what we needed to do and what we wanted to do. We watched as the cursor blinked to bring us a reply. We were quick to let the other know we are on the other side of the screen, no voices heard but intently listening.

Hours would pass and we find ourselves lying on our beds, still glued to our devices, unable to leave the conversation, resisting sleep. The lights are out, only our screens shine  light on our faces. Our heads rest on pillows trying to steal away the last bits of strength to keep us awake. But the green light beside each other’s names and the sound of a message tossed our way chase away the drowse. If we could converse in our dreams, I think we would.

But we  did not want the sun to rise on us. Before daybreak would come, we forced each other to retire. We forced ourselves to close the windows and turn off our computers. Our entire universe would fall quiet and though we tried to close our eyes and sleep, we couldn’t. In the dark, we reached for our phones. We just couldn’t let it rest. We craved for a sense of presence in the other’s absence. There we were: neither here, nor there yet here and there. This is all that we could have, all we could allow ourselves to.

So, stay. Don’t close your eyes. Please. Stay. Stay open.