Restlessness takes a little while to fully settle in. At first it whips in, barely dense enough to chill the air, a minor haze, and you sweep it off with a wave of your palm. But it lingers, soaking up moisture, dormant, condenses over time. This takes so long that you don’t see the weights fetter your spirit until they are so heavy that you don’t get out of bed anymore. You just sleep until an hour before the next obligation beckons. By then the sunset has already spilled out over the light. The trees are silhouettes tangled in purple, red, horizon. You have an hour of free time, which you’d donate to anybody, because what are you doing. You’re sitting with your feet out on the floor next to the front door staring at the mewling cat. Glancing at the clock on your iPhone: every two and a half minutes. For the first time you notice the complete vacancy of this particular wall, a sprawling army of white.
Restlessness grows exponentially over time. When it becomes a tender oozing cyst, you can’t placate yourself with gentle lies anymore. It must be attended to. Amputated if need be; better to take one part then the whole.
The air chills, the world darkens. The whole world; frozen, dark. Beauty visits the parlor, and you steal a glimpse of her. But she has no answers. She doesn’t say a single word. Her grace is shunning, her secrets locked in the cold, sunken in the sea of night and evaporate in the sunrise.
You could call this potentially, “depression,” if you wanted, if you had no imagination whatsoever, you could call it “sad”, I guess, when a person who never sleeps plays games of chemical manipulation to perpetuate the imaginary energy which is the last bastion before complete systems failure. AKA, the only reason she can move is because she has drugs. Like, Adderall, or caffeine. Or both, and lots of it- heaven forbid that fatigue creep in again, and she can’t focus her eyes on the customer who is shoving money towards her so she can go through the motions of making change.
But this dull thud with (increasingly) occasional quickening/epiphany is all she has. There isn’t an alternative in circumstance. Only an alternative in attitude. If only perspective switched currents swiftly as photons burst through wire. If only we could change our attitude the way we change our sunglasses from tinted red to burnt yellow. There must be a wellspring dwelling within, of warmth in California’s darkest coldest month in all recorded history for the past couple centuries.
Where do feet go when the mind resigns? What do hands do when the heart sleeps? What fate befalls the poor fool who hoards his dreaming beneath the pillow that smothers his face? What fate befalls the demented who condemn themselves for beholding sunrise with sleepless eyes, those who do not sleep ‘till they’re certain they’re sinners? What do you say to a man who screams in a hell he’s toiled his whole life to acquire?
We watch zombie movies and keep our guns full of bullets in locked closets awaiting Necessity’s war horn resound. We’re all prepared for the day we’ll finally be shot in the head.
Do you feel numb, too? The pins and needles constricting bone when finally motion blooms into pain? Do you feel the way the chest tightens, girdled under the shackles of ‘safe’?
I hope you don’t, but I know you do. And by now you know: I feel this, too. The haunted descent of a ghost prow riddled with luxury, rotted by decadence, each incisor blunted till it burns to chew, we’ve lost our bite-all’s left to do is knead our teeth on the steel bit that binds our reins.