The night, filled with adventure, horror, curiosities, unexplainable incidents and encounters, indescribable landscapes and eerily familiar situations. The day, a repeating reel of boredom, highlighted only very infrequently with meaningful human interaction, and falling back into the mundane, delighting when a housecat yawns before an instinctual downward-facing-dog-pose, or anticipating a break in the dreadful man-made-time-money-routine. The night, the escape into dreams, cannot come soon enough. In the night, I have no care that life is meaningless. In the night, I have no need for love. I have no disappointment. I have no regret. I have no failure. I have nothing. The night only occasionally brings me someone I know in the day. I’d rather it didn’t. Those who I know in the day often bring daytime problems into my dreams. I’d rather they weren’t contaminated with disappointment, with desiring more love and attention, with experiences of failure and betrayal. But it doesn’t happen much. Usually, the night is much more creative than that. Usually, the night brings dangerous bridges over lazy rivers winding through green-topped canyons, racing faster as they rush toward lakes or oceans harboring rapids and whirlpools hungry for my kayak, or my soul. The night brings rolling hills as far as the eye can see, a strange tint to the sky as I watch a series of skinny tornadoes fall from the clouds, like snakes hanging and writhing from trees, coming from all directions. The night brings massive, dark, labyrinthine buildings filled with infinite rooms in infinite cities laced together with twisting, treacherous highway overpasses 300 feet in the air, that when I finally navigate whatever brake-less vehicle I’m driving onto an exit ramp, I know exactly where I am, no matter where I find myself, because I have spent a thousand lives here, it seems. Maybe I can somehow find peace, or a place where I don’t feel so absolutely wrong in the day. But for now, I prefer the night.
this time, the tension grips my neck, behind my left ear, down to the top of my shoulder. usually, it takes hold between my bony shoulder blades, on one side of the protruding spine or the other, transforming whatever anatomical feature resides there into a steel cable found on a suspension bridge.
but i was good this time. i didn’t drink. i didn’t eat three sirloin burgers slathered in mayonnaise. i didn’t try to scratch scars into the thin skin on the underside of my forearm. i didn’t starve myself completely. i gave in around midnight, hoping a full belly would help me fall asleep. but it was already too late. the tension already had a hold. it has no where to go.
no strong hands to coax the muscles into submission. no hot fingers to press into my cool skin. no perfect lips and adorable gapped teeth to whisper momentarily-pleasing lies into my ear in-between dozens of gentle kisses punctuated by scratchy stubble.
maybe a left-over pill from the car accident last fall, if i could figure out which ones they are. maybe an hour of stretching on the floor, bones shifting over and over, never satisfied with where they end up. maybe laying in bed, half-fetal, crying. but probably not. probably just more words to you and about you and for you like throwing pearls to the swine, or dust in the wind, or some other tired, hopeless proverb. and when i stop wasting brain and heart and thoughts and words and love and soul and devotion on you, the tension in my neck will disappear. just like me.