Sweat clings to me, my shirt, my sheets. Dreams tug me back into their arms, pulling me until my eyes tear away from familiar shadows cast by the dull lamps that flicker outside. Lucidity opens her arms and lets me go; lets me fall into the storm of jumbled thoughts and ideas that are tinged with a fiery disarray of subconsciousness. I am caught. There is no rest in this web of monsters and false reality.
Someone says my name. It is quiet, I look over. Did you call my name? No. Of course they did not. The air conditioner gurgles; a woman speaks without words in her bright, bubbly voice. I look over the darkness. Are you on your phone? No. Of course she is not. She is asleep and the woman’s inviting tones return to the trickling of the air conditioner and the car honks and the moving of furniture upstairs. Whispers. I hear them as I walk past a person who is alone, I hear them walking through a door, I hear them when I should not hear them anywhere. Whispers whispers whispers. But they aren’t there.
My wrists keep nudging me. They prickle my skin and seem to sing to me through my muscles. I’m here, I’m here, don’t forget what you can do to me, they whisper. Though their voice is not truly there, it is simply spoken through my body. My skin rests there, above the tissue and the muscle and the blood. It is wrong. Isn’t it? No. Yes. Yes. It lays there, beckoning me to open it, as if a blade can turn into the key to the doors of my flesh that will open to a warm trickle of comfort. It sits there, tight against my bones, nudging me.
I cannot speak today. I have not lost my voice, nor have I lost things to say. The thought of talking weighs on my throat. I cannot speak today. I listen and I work sloppily and I drift into sleep that heavily coats my eyelids and locks my eyelashes together for hours on hours.
I cannot sleep today. I work and work and work and I cannot stop. I have too much to say. Ideas spin in my mind, my thoughts turning like a bingo cage until one of them slips out. I’ve said too much. Have I? Bingo! What color next? Yellow. Work work work. I cannot sleep today.