There was an ice storm over night and I slept while the city was covered in tiny frozen pellets. I didn't sleep well, but I slept. I haven't felt comfortable in this bed since before I bought it.
Sitting in the mattress store I flopped on mattress after mattress; I climbed on the hard ones, sunk into the soft ones, I sprawled out and curled up but unlike red riding hood, my need was not met. Nothing was right.
At night when I can’t sleep, I look at my ceiling and try to trace the cracks by the light from street lamps. I listen for familiarity in cars passing by my window and I think about that apartment you lived in. The cracks in the ceilings linked the living room and kitchen. I want to bring up the time we laid in bed and I asked about the cracks but you didn’t respond.
I find myself more often than not thinking about the apartments you’ve lived in that I didn't see, or never will see. The ones I’ve been in, the ones you’ve had me in- they don’t interest me. I stay awake at night and want to know you in a way I would never let you know me.
Sometimes, I lie completely still and try to see myself in this bed. I try to be there 100%- but I'm not. I've never been anywhere 100%. Even during my happiest moments I want to be on to the next happiest moment. There will never be enough happiest moments for me.
There are nights when I feel the way I did last August. Now alone, but not then, I focused on trying not to move so not disturb him. The slight sound of his breathing banged against my ears and even though the air conditioner made the weather December I sweat through the sheets.
I’ve tried all the usual remedies to combat this insomnia. I read books, lit candles and even bought bed risers. Now it's just like I'm floating while I lay awake. I tried meditating in the morning, but I’ve found that I like the soothing sound of an anchor’s voice to that of silence.
I find a calmness take over as they tell me of overnight gun shot wounds and car accidents and three alarm fires and missing children. There’s always missing children. As the sunrises I am greeted with traffic back ups on free ways and natural disasters along coastal cities and towns. It comforts me to know that I'm not the only one awake tracing ceiling cracks at 4am.
I’m not afraid of planes crashing out of the sky on to my house from over exposure to the news. I do not have panic attacks when I cross bridges or wear a helmet while I walk down the street.. In fact, I have booked more flights and boarded more train this year than any other. I am certain that I'll find America, even if it exhausts my entire bank account.
Through my trials with the night I have found one full proof method- pack a suitcase before bed. Leave an itinerary stuck up on my fridge and I wake up fully rested with no urge to stay up until sunrise picking at vowels and periods like paint chips on my wall.