Every night I wage a war. The enemy crawls into the room and begins its familiar bombardment, first with feathers and then with rubber bullets. In a matter of minutes I’m surrounded by fire breathing dragons screaming with urgency – I must enter their realm. I refuse, at least for a few more hours. It’s about the fight, yet I don’t even know where my objection starts in me. This battle makes no sense and doesn’t do me any good. But somehow, Sleep has become my enemy.
Its army comes at me as if I’m expecting it. Like I’ll throw myself at their mercy once the grenades are thrown. I shake my head and pop my lids open again, a yawn stretches me but I stay connected to the wakeful world … with my eyes.
Two days ago I went to the eye doctor and he tells me I have slight cataracts in my left eye and the onset of macular degeneration in my right. What’s left to fight with if I don’t have my eyes? The monster approaches tonight and my weapons start to ache.
All these years, for reasons I don’t comprehend, I fought sleep off. It isn’t insomnia; it’s a conscientious, albeit an underground and seditiously layered response. My mind wants to stay rapt with the happenings of the day or the fantasies I’ve missed while doing the responsible job thing. It wants to read new depths and experience different worlds, scan new perspectives and flex different thoughts. It’s crosshairs are a pair of blue peepers I’ve had since I was born. Now the weapons of choice are losing their effectiveness yet the enemy is in no way breaking its stride.
It certainly occurs to me (on a regular basis, should you question my clarity on this matter) – sleep would assuredly heal my situation, or at a minimum slow this eye-death process. Would that I could allow myself to be taken prisoner. To surrender. The sheets and the pillow call my weary body. Why can’t I give in? Shell shock? Post traumatic stress syndrome?
But I still fight. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to stop this madness. No doubt if I could just figure out what started this war for me, I’d be able to agree to a cease-fire, draw up a peace plan. Resolve to do what’s best for my sanity.
Alas, I fear that peace may never come.