Read This Before You Sleep Tonight

by

You lay in bed with your arms by your sides. You clench your muscles from the edge of your eyebrows to your abdomen to your toes. You inhale. You count to ten. You release. You exhale. You are alone.

You imagine a beach day. The weather is not too hot, not too cold. The breeze whips against your bare skin and through each strand of hair. You stroll along the shoreline. The sun begins to fade beyond the horizon. You pause. You face the ocean. You stare at every single wave the crashes on its own. You close your eyes and listen to each movement they make.

You open your eyes. You stare at the ceiling. The room is dark. You reach for your phone. The brightly lit screen reads midnight with one new text message from your ex. You turn the screen over. You toss and turn onto your stomach. Your face plummets into the pillow. You close your eyes again.

You fall. You free fall alongside a cliff with a drop of hundreds of thousands of feet. Your thoughts race yet you’re nowhere close whatever is below you. You don’t know how you got here. You’re rushing down, but time moves slowly. The air flows between the crevices of your fingers. It’s difficult to open your eyes, but when you finally do, your alarm wakes you up.

You groan. It’s seven-thirty. You turn off that upbeat pop song you’ve learned to hate because you now associate it with morning grogginess instead of nights at the club with your friends. You sit up and stretch your arms. You yawn louder than the birds chirping in the branches by your window. You ignore their calls, their potential cries for help. You stumble to the kitchen and pop in a French Roast k-cup into your Keurig machine. It brews more hot water than coffee. Today is like any other day.

You crawl into bed again, hours later after a full workday. You told yourself you’d be in bed by ten, but now it’s nearly eleven thirty. You lay down. You close your eyes. You turn to your stomach and your face smacks the pillow again.

You’re falling again. This time, you’re much closer to the bottom. The image of jagged, sharp cluster of rocks in a rushing, violent river appear. You panic. You scream, but no one hears. You’re just about to crash until a slight sound wakes you up.

Sweat covers your forehead. Once you breathe again, you close your eyes and clench your muscles. You release after ten seconds and repeat until you grow tired again. You drift off to sleep moments later.

You’ve crashed.

Photo by Danielle Corcione

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