The Longest Night

I like the classics.  Oscar Wilde's Portrait of Dorian Gray, Charles Dickens' David Copperfield, Dostoevsky's The Brothers Karamazov, and most recently  Robert Lewis Stevenson's The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde.  It was that last novel that inspired me to write about the plight of the insomniac. Or is it far more sadistic than just simple sleeplessness?

Have you ever had a night so long that you didn't know if it would ever end?

Her mind is besieged by fears, very real fears.  Suddenly those ghostly impostors, imaginary dragons are real, she can feel them; their teeth, their claws, their fire.

She's a prisoner of yesterday, today, and tomorrow.  Nothing makes sense, everything is disjointed; thoughts keep coming and going, but their effects on her body remain as her body tenses to the strain of each thought.

She feels jittery throughout, like she has bugs running through her veins.  She tries to get up and walk, but her body stays put, like an obedient dog. She turns on the TV but nothing can stop this inner crucifixion; her insides feel like they are getting ripped out. Her head feels like it is on a guillotine, with sadistic, smiling faces cheering.

Finally she has a few minutes of peace...but something is eerie...She begins to relax, tries to sleep. But something is awry...

Then it begins again, her body shakes, her insides rattle, and her mind begins a blitzkrieg of every imaginable thought. It is like a never ending newsreel of flashing images, in color, in black and white, with no congruence.  They are just thoughts but this fact does not comfort her, since these very thoughts have taken over her entire psyche. Sleep! Why don't you come?

She tries everything to calm herself.  She breathes slowly.  She tries to ignore the thoughts. She even begins to fight back by creating positive thoughts.  But nothing works, her mind is out of control, spinning at super orbit speeds. She sees the guillotine again, those sadistic faces. She clenches her teeth, but the guillotine doesn't fall even though she wishes that it had.

She is left with nothing, no cure... She is left alone. The only thing that brings her comfort is the fact that she has somehow survived.  But for how long? she asks.  How much can she endure before finally losing it.

She looks at the clock it's 5 AM. Only two more hours till work...

She looks to the left; the sun's rays are now peeping through the window.

The night is finally over.

But she is not the same.

Fear emerged the victor.

She ponders, she reflects.

She is not the same person.

She is someone else.

The clock ticks on

Only a few more hours...

The night will be here again


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