I said nothing. Not a single plea was uttered. She didn’t come back, at least not for a little while. I looked up at the night sky and squinted, through the apertures between the snowflakes into the blackest sky. The universe expanded as my eyes seemed to click into focus. I saw three distinct stars and thought of Orion’s belt but I could not be certain. I’m no astronomist. I have in a sense studied the instrumental.
Orion, a hunter and a man, killed by Artemis, and placed in the sky to linger forever, standing out there in the open for everyone to witness and judge. Hard not to empathize with this Greek man. The surface of the circles became clearer. I could make out intricate lines, like winding roads, or impressions, like the grooves of a record. Lines that wandered with no destination, onward and onward like a hypnotic spiral. Don’t ask me how but they appeared to be pressed against something transparent. Was it the shell of our atmosphere? If so, which? The troposphere, stratosphere, mesosphere or the thermosphere? I noticed a glare, a pinch, and immediately I felt anxious and dizzy. Did I feel that then in my memory or was it now. Was it a memory or astral projection? Time travel? No, I was in stasis. I was the loneliest person alive inside the ever growing, metaphorical blizzard of emotions.
In my bedroom, I thought about writing but I thought maybe I had drank too much to write. What would I write anyway? An autobiography? Maybe some spiteful, thinly veiled fiction? Something full of angst and exaggeration. I like the term, punk rock minimalism. Who the fuck would care about anything I might have to say? My voice held no weight. Could I even complete a large scale, cohesive manuscript? My mind worked in tangents. The story would unfold in a dark bedroom, with no one to share it with. No loyal woman beside me to read drafts to and hear feedback from. I could read it to the random women who slept next to me from time to time but what’s the point of that? There was no point in any of this, was there?
My memories liked to come out of hiding often but almost always when insomnia occurred. Oh, you can’t sleep? said the brain. Here you go. And it’s not like a clinical or truly diagnosed insomnia, it’s just I don’t sleep well and it’s been that way for my entire life. I’ve never gone to a doctor about it. But when I can’t sleep and most days when I’m awake my mind is somewhere awful. I’d lie to you about how the thoughts and memories made me feel. The worst days of my life thus far, things I’d like to forget tended to present themselves in my mind when all I wanted was to sleep.
Sometimes, I’d pretend it was the last half of the 19th century and I’m on my deathbed. With a big gnarly beard like Tolstoy. The Death of Wilhem Flood. I still pictured things that didn’t exist then. I imagined annoying tubes secured into my nostrils, slowly leaking oxygen into uncooperative lungs. Intravenous meals and saline creeping me out. But I know it’s not real and then I wonder, when I think of the past sometimes I can’t distinguish between what is real and what I’ve invented. Because the memories are like my Russian deathbed daydreams, full of anachronism and Mandela effects.
At least I still have some more of my youth to waste. I struggle with that. I am wasteful with my life and the time I have left which I should be thankful for, but I’m not. We know not everyone is so lucky. I am twenty eight years old. And I guess I’m a little down in the dumps. If there was one thing I’d like to do it would be to leave.
I fluttered my eyelashes, and acknowledged the swelling of my left eye. I thought to myself, Fuck. Edith can throw a fucking punch. Damn, girl. I was sorry for the things I’ve said. I was sorry for the way I’ve behaved over the last year or so. Sometimes we all need a punch in the face. I knew some people I’d love to smash right in their faces.
My eye felt like it wasn’t a part of my face, like it had defected. My eye was a defector and my bed was a traitor. Repose did not wish to serve me as I wrestled with the sheets, tattered sheets I had since I was a child, and a pillow in the shape of a fish. Frustrated, I tried to settle down, deep breaths, sheep jumping over fences until I could finally confront sleep.
I craved dreamland but some dreams can be as saddening as the past, and as frightening as the future. I will continue to worry and wonder about my mother until I fall asleep. Then I’ll dream of houses I’ll never live in, women I’ll never kiss, and the person I’ll never become.