I close my eyes but consciousness won’t evade me. I lay in bed – feet twitching, ears itching and sleep ditching. Thought reels switch in and out of my mind’s projector. I do dream, but awake in my thoughts. They aren’t disturbing, but they keep me from fading. The puppet strings that link my eyelids to my mind’s eye are torn and I can no longer silence my brain’s spokesperson.
Whatever parts that remain of my heart have rearranged themselves into a shrunken callus of organic machinery, transporting blank emotions to my fingertips which bleed onto this empty piece of paper. The visions are like the view seen outside the window of a fast-moving train: blurry, incomprehensible, yet somewhat beautiful. But unlike the rhythmic sounds of a train, they do not lull me to sleep.
The only light in my bedroom originates from my phone screen, burning into my retinas. I realized my inability to sleep easy is derived from a lack of self-esteem, disappointment and horror. I’m incapable of achieving anything new, disappointed how things haven’t turned out as well as I’d hoped and I’m horrified by the person inside me, moving my limbs and saying words I’d never meant to speak.
I can’t sleep because I’m too afraid to let myself go to this soul-intruder. He roams the city in my mind, constructing fascinating structures while burning the old, cherished ones where I had lived. So I stay awake for as long as I can, keeping first watch of my city’s borders.
Perhaps this is what growing up is about. Learning to live in your new buildings, settling in your unused bed and coming to terms with the fact that living on the 25th floor with a broken lift is how life is going to be. And the faster you learn to accept the intruder as one of your own citizens, the sooner you’ll stop being haunted by yourself.