Lately something’s always waking me up. Tonight it’s the sound of my dog’s ears flip-flapping on the side of his head. You know that thing dogs do when they move their heads side to side really fast, like some South American percussion instrument?

There’s moonlight pouring in through the open door in our bedroom and my wife’s asleep next to me. The kids are sleeping too and I can hear the sound of water flowing in the fountain below my window, or maybe it’s just my left ear ringing. That’s what you get for standing in front of a rifle-shot snare drum for fifteen years straight.

At 3:15 I walk downstairs to check my email on the off chance something important arrived since I checked last, around 10:30. I’m always hoping for something that’ll fill the hole, staunch the bleeding, or raise the dead.

Lately, there’s not enough of whatever it is I think I need to sate my hunger or stimulate my desire. Taking action, action of any kind, might seem like a logical thing to do, but what’s logical just gets wiped away in the face of this chasm I feel inside. It’s hard to know if I’m thinking about my sister Susie dying in the car crash, or my dad’s lymphoma, or my brother’s microcephalic kid. Each one’s enough to gouge out a trench.

And then, maybe I’m torn up over something larger too, something cosmic, like God turning his face from the world and sending us all, screaming into exile. Maybe I’m most afraid of having come to terms with being nowhere at all.

I power up my phone and check my email hoping that it’s that singular letter, that messianic letter I’ve been hoping for my whole life. I’m like some rat in a psychology experiment, tapping on the lever, forever trying to get at that extra peanut.

I sigh a bit and smile a wan little smile as I catch a reflection of myself in my stretched out underwear in the glass of the backdoor. Yeah, I got an email, but it’s just spam from a real estate guy, Jimmy Yaitus: Y.A.I.T.U.S.  “You are important to us,” it says.

Right, I’m as important to Mr. Jimmy as a fine grey hair on his grandma’s ass. One of these days I gotta get off his goddamn list.





3 thoughts on “Insomniac

  1. It is the resident hum of unreconciled longing that Blaise Pascal refers to as the “God shaped void” – it’s a sort of homing device reminding us that the physical realm ain’t the whole enchilada . . .

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