Sunday, July 6, 2014

Sleep Now

Sleep.

On my stomach first, just after I close my book because my eyes are ready for the break. As soon as I settle in my mind wakes, showing me pictures of everything I want but can't have and then (because there are no guarantees) of losing everything I have now and might have in the future.

Now on my side, clutching Beary by my face, I try so hard to change the story. Something happy--maybe with made-up characters that I could write about, some fun family time, or preliminary plans for my prayer flag design. I kick my legs and stretch trying to quiet their crawling but instead I imagine my blood cells with flailing limbs trying to burst through my thighs and shins.

Wishing I had a giant with a pancake turner who could flip me onto my other side, I wrangle the blankets and try to gently roll toward the wall where I will shut it off. Just stop thinking. A blank mind that will drift away into a dreamless sleep. You can imagine where this is going, though. Still stretching my legs I start to hear what I can't have--I mean I hear it in my "mind's ear" or whatever. It's the gentle breathing of my daughter followed by her cries (best sound ever) and then more quiet breathing with an occasional baby grunt or squeak. It's as real as a dream can be, and the loudest absence I've ever heard.

Over. Over. Over. Read to sleep but don't close that book.