Repressive, Recursive

The sound of birds twittering at 4 a.m. in the morning might as well be the opening chord of a delirious hymn to the temporal in-between.

I have spent the past few hours staring at my laptop screen, willing words of academic sense to spring from the motions of my fingers on the keyboard. But instead of cunning, clever analyses of Mary Wollstonecraft’s positions within the framework of liberal feminism, I scroll past page after page of Tumblr snapshots, Twitter musings, longform articles spaced out with carefully placed page breaks.

I get off the couch only to use the bathroom and to cut my hair.

Every now and then, my sleeping pattern will flip, and it’s usually no big deal. I’ll will myself out of bed one morning, and then will myself to sleep in the early (but not that early) evening, and my uneven “day” will settle back until the next monumental sleep shift, and so on and so on.

But these days, even when I do turn in for the “evening,” when I close my eyes and curl deeper into my bed, I find no comfort.

And then, when I finally stir from my slumber in the not-so-early morn, I find myself paralyzed in place, unable to detangle myself from my sheets and detach myself from my daydreams. Hours will pass; the sun will have dipped considerably from its noontime zenith before I feel awake.

I don’t remember the last time I felt eager to greet the day.

No, that’s a lie—but I feel uneasy, and my skin itches (both literally and figuratively) at the prospect of sleeplessness, which is second only to the dread of wrenching my body out of bed when I finally do surrender to my dreams.

I can’t fix this unless I make the effort. I am not making the effort. I feel like I’m talking to myself. I’ll stop now. No I won’t.

Ugh. I’ve been writing all these long, serious posts about big, serious things, to the point where I sometimes forget that sometimes, I don’t have to have a point, and I can just let this post sit and sink after it goes up. No one’s reading this blog more intently than I am. This is my writing on the wall, my safe space, my mind palace. I’m not writing anything for money. I’m not writing anything for prestige.

Which makes me wonder for what am I writing at all.

(Image: Lights in Chicago by Satoki Nagata)


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