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I’m tired. I don’t think there’s one of us who, at some point in their lives, hasn’t been up at three A.M. If you claim you haven’t, you’re a liar. Insomnia is a universal phenomenon. It happens without warning, without reason. I envy those who can pass out effortlessly, but I’m sure even they have at some point been teary-eyed and tormented by memories or by regret.

I’m writing this because I’m tired, because I heard writing can help one fall asleep, probably a pack of lies like the old sheep trick, but Heck, I’ll give anything a shot. My head is throbbing. Really throbbing. I need to go get some aspirin from the medicine cabinet, hang on a sec.

There we go, aspirin. I crush mine up and stir it into water. I don’t know if anyone else does that. I guess most people don’t, most people swallow them whole. Most people eat the pizza first instead of the crust first. What’s the point? Who cares? My hands are tired, even. They can’t write for very long. Cramps in the muscles and webbing. Rub it a little, there we go. More water. Aspirin tastes very dry and chalky, even when dissolved. My hands are sore. Why are they sore?

I’m trying to remember what happened yesterday. Not today, but yesterday. I know I did something, not sure what. I walked in the park, I also did some paperwork. What else? I did something, something that when I did it, I swore I’d remember. I guess I was wrong.

Out the window. Few cars pass, no trucks or anything like that, nothing to really keep me awake. When a car does pass, it’s swift and clear, lights on the ceiling, filtered through the window, the light changes shape and warps before disappearing altogether, then it goes off. I can only imagine who drives around at 3. At least 25% of them must be degenerates. Who does drive around at such an unholy hour? I don’t live in a big city, all the shops close at 8 or 10, even the bars are closed by midnight.

Lemme look out the window.

Yeh, no cars. Street’s empty, quiet, one light on across the street, but the TV is off. That guy is really into TV. He’s asleep by this time. My eyes are dull. I can’t read this, or much of it, anyway, because they can’t seem to focus, they’re blurry, see. Looks like someone sprayed them with Windex. I can only assume this is due to the fact that after enough time without sleep, the brain doesn’t function properly, all the chemicals go in the wrong jars. Am I crying?

Yes, there it is- a veritable tear, a tear that came out for no reason, no purpose other than to keep me from jotting this down. Come on, corneas, do your stuff. Keep me going. Over there is the mirror. Do you see yourself in it? You do see yourself in it. You can see those tired eyes.

The eyes are tired but the hair is even worse, the hair is a mess, and underneath the eyes I have bags, big black bags, all this time without sleep. Need to sleep. More water, that’s it. Need water. Look at myself, I look back from the glass, reflection in there. Ha ha.

Do I need a snack? Yes, I do. Food, something to set my tract in motion, digestion is good for the spirit, reminds your body that it has duties to perform. Need to go get a bag of chips or something. No soda, has caffeine. That’s a shame, too. A day ago I bought a whole pack of Mountain dew. I have no idea why I did that, I never buy entire six-packs of soda, one can at the most. I was thirsty, I guess. I have some tea, I’ll make myself some tea.

It’s dark in here, writing this as the tea brews. It’s a very herbal-type blend, something you might find in a chakra shop. While it’s not from any such place, it’s from the store, I did find myself in a chakra shop about a week ago, one of those mystic places, probably the only one in town. Weird stuff in there. Beads, incense, statues, the whole nine yards. On the wall I noticed a poster about a seminar held by some mystic shaman. This seminar mentioned how death was only a brief interlude, that when we die we simply pass into another dimension.

I’m a gullible sucker, I went to it. Room full of people, sat in a semicircle around this lady who talked about astral projection and other planes of existence. Diagrams were passed around, but I wasn’t able to pay attention- last few days have been hard. People talked, there were little plastic bowls filled with chicken wraps. Then they turned the lights off and put up a slideshow. God.

Tea’s ready. My hands are shaking, that’s how overworked my nerves are, bursting at the seams. Pour it in, don’t spill any. I spilled a little. No problem, get the paper towels. There we go. Carry it back, don’t drop it, it’s OK, there we go. Tea and chips. Barbecue kind. Not my favorite, but passable. I suppose up this late anything would be passable.

Mirror. Stare in the mirror. There’s something back there.

No, nothing there. Just your mind. Just my mind. Keep the pen moving. Take a sip. Ahhhh. There we go, lie back, some more water, take the chips and clip them closed. Not putting them back tonight, too tired. Now. Eyes. What about the eyes? I don’t wear glasses, never have, reportedly have 20/20 vision. Tomorrow I guess I’ll visit the optometrist, haven’t been there in a year or so, but one never can tell.

Blurry. It’s so blurry. Disturbingly quiet. There are two types of silence- one which puts the mind at ease, another which keeps the mind active and jumpy, a silence that suggests something is going to happen that just hasn’t shown itself yet. I don’t know exactly how I would differentiate between the two. If you hooked up a sound machine and recorded the two silences side by side, would you be able to tell the difference? Or is this simply a mental category, one which can’t be classified?

The mirror is something. I don’t want to sit up, don’t want to look into it again.

My eyes have seen something. Green, deep green, lines fading away into nothingness, black empty void and green lines. It was their greatest output, I know that now. Nothing else could even come close. Two days? Don’t kid yourself. Pathetic. It wasn’t two days, you know that. If you want to know where your lack of sleep comes from, think back. Think way back.

You came back, again, again, coin in the slot, buttons mashed, eyes thirsty, always thirsty for more. You couldn’t get enough of it, could you? You went at it until the wee hours, late and alone, when the owner told you it was time to leave, you kept on. You don’t want to admit this to yourself, but you did. You know you did. And the mirror- well, if you look into it long enough, you’ll see what you want to see. Green, jade, emerald, sparkling in digital glory.

Come on, you know what you want. Everybody does to an extent. You don’t want sleep. You couldn’t sleep if you tried. Put your head on the pillow, shut your eyes, doesn’t matter. The mirror is still there, you can’t ignore it forever.

My mind is tired, my head is heavy. I need to sack out. I need to know my body’s limits, know that the brain is like a rechargeable battery, and if it goes too long without rest, things can happen. I remember reading once about a study where a man was forced to stay awake for a week, they broadcast it live, and near the end he saw doors in walls leading to magical fairy kingdoms. The world melted. That can’t happen with me. Need sleep. How can I sleep? My head hurts so much. I need to put this away, stimulates my brain too much. Only thing I can do now is try.

Come on over, press your luck. Test your aim. You’ve still got the same pure reflexes you had then, don’t you, Kyle? You’ll always be ready.