Elusive sleep darts from behind the window pane. She has no desire to join me in bed. I tempt her with childhood drinks, sweet music, cool darkness. She has better things to do this cheerless day. Corners of a pensive bedroom to explore. Enticing places to cunningly hide. Sleep whispers at the edge of exhausted perception. Intransigent daytime spectres refuse to rest.
Sleep doesn’t like me. We’ve never been friends.
The aberrant creak of a paint-flecked floorboard. A rustle of fabric from a day’s discarded clothes. Sleep prowls the bedroom. Restless. Hunting. Winding her self through the baggage of my day. A custodian lurking at the threshold of cognizance. Latent dreams held to ransom for a price I cannot discern.
I see the glimpse of a long forgotten lover. A pebble beach with no horizon bathed only in grey. Deep snow on a lane I know leads to home.
Sleeps keeps these tight from me. Teasing. Taunting. All distant memories I now cannot hold. Sleep slyly sets the alarm clock ticking. Sets loose unfinished tasks I eternally delay. Summon quiescent thoughts to instantly manifest. Close my eyes tightly to entice them in, but Sleep doesn’t like me. I don’t think she ever has.
Sleep doesn’t like me. She won’t speak with me right now.
An unsettling quarrel replays again and again. The harsh words of an argument never resolved. Sleep holds escape just out of reach from me. No resolution, to acrimony I don’t even grasp. Sleep only offers self-doubt. Clinging sadness. Offers only angry words that can never be reclaimed.
She tortuously twists the angles of the bedroom. Brings the ghost of a lover to settle on the counterpane. A pastiche of memories. Incoherent. Unbidden. Recollections of friends I’d never really known. Sleeps brings long departed pets for illusory comfort. Lets them circle the blankets but then spirits them away.
Turn on the radio for comforting patter. Think of one time I didn’t screw up. Read a thousand words of a beautiful novel. A thousand beautiful words I instantly forget. Reach for the light switch, the water, the magazine. Reach for oblivion that refuses to come. Twist in the darkness longing for snowfall. Pull blankets from a lover who’s already gone.
Sleep rarely visits. We’ve never been close.
Walk through the snowfall that carpets the lane. A homogeneous blanket covering the world. Step lightly on incandescent whiteness filled with comforting knowledge that I’m walking home. A journey I can complete in my sleep. A journey in sleep I so often do.
Sleep doesn’t like me. We’ve never been friends but sometime she’ll let me go home.