Confused, as if under water, head wrapped tightly in gauze, the world distorted and hazy. I blink and shake my head in an attempt to clear my vision, my perception of the world in front of me. My breath comes in short gasps and long drawn out inhalations made with great effort. Unable to perform, to appear as if I am a normal functioning adult, a pregnant woman going about her business, shopping for milk and eggs, hand reaching towards refrigerated shelves with extreme effort not to allow the heavy rubber like texture of my arm to show through the pinkish white skin. One foot placed in front of the other, again and again, I look on in wonder and amazement that my legs are capable of such a motion. Click, clack, click, clack. A deliberate action.
The anxiety of today has overcome me completely. I want to give in, succumb to the temptations of tears, a sleeping pill and a warm bed, dreamless sleep and heavy-headed nothingness. I do nothing. I do not give in and I do not move forward, stuck in a limbo, between panic and sleep. If only I could smoke a cigarette, the action of hand to mouth, inhaling and exhaling with a purpose, luring me back to reality. If only I could curl up into a ball, shrinking down to the size of a grain of salt, disappearing between the cracks in the floorboards. I would hide in the darkness until the safety of night, the relief of tomorrow, any other time than now, this never-ending moment of pause.
Closing my eyes, I wait……
Things get creaky, the walls when I walk, the floor when I fall. A slow screech lingers in my head, invading the quiet, the dark. Sleepless nights, wandering around my house. Get up, piss, get some water, repeat 10 more fucking times until finally its morning and I can add some more pointless activities to this ridiculous routine. The heavy-headed dizziness of sleep deprivation overcomes me, becomes me. An hour of pilates awakens my limbs, filling my lungs with oxygen. Am I awake yet? Can you awaken when you never really go to sleep? A shower washes away the residue of the previous 24 hours of existence. Am I awake yet? Not really, no need to be. I will live forever in this halfway world between reality, dreams and unsleep. I paint a portrait of myself, intricately filling in every crevice and pore, sweep of eyebrow and curl of lash, smearing of red, the illusion of a mouth, an eye, a girl, a woman, a whore and a clown. Now I am here, I have arrived.