My eyes are wide open. My body is rigid. I am not tired.
And yet I lie in this bed, waiting for sleep that will never come.
I stare at the ceiling, counting plaster bumps, watching grinning faces and dancing bodies form and disappear above me.
I toss and turn, toss and turn, toss and turn. The blanket is tangled as I toss it aside, pull it to my neck, toss it aside again. My eyes are wide open. I close them, almost experimentally, but they see nothing behind the lids worth watching and are soon open again, looking and looking and looking at nothing at all.
Outside, the wind howls like a lost child, rattling the windows and begging to be let in. The weeping wind should soothe me and lull me into the darkness I seek, but it merely enrages me more.
Yes, I am angry. I am angry at the night, for taunting me with the promise of rest when I can have no rest. I am angry at myself, for needing sleep so desperately and for spinning like a top beneath my covers. I am angry at my blankets, my pillow, my bed, the wind, the laughing, tempting darkness. I am angry at my ceiling, for creating those bumpy, capering images that I watch and watch and watch. I am angry at sleep itself, for so cruelly withholding itself from me.
And my anger twists and turns. It morphs to anger and sadness. Have I committed crimes? Were my ancestors evil? Why must I lie awake while the earth sleeps and the wind cries? Why must I be deprived of my dreams and nightmares? Why must I punch at my pillows in frustration?
I have even tried to rise - if I cannot slumber, I should work. I have dishes to wash, letters to write, bookcases to build, infomercials to watch. But my weary body trembles and begs. Rise? How can I rise when I've had no sleep? How can I work so late when my head wavers and quavers with exhaustion? I am defeated and crawl back into bed.
Still my eyes will not shut. Still I toss and turn. The sheets are hot as a fever and wet as a wet cat's hair.
And the wind roars. It shouts through the windows. It shouts that I will not sleep this night, not a wink, not a blink, not a moment of sweet, velvet sleep will be visited upon me. And the wind is glad and laughing and angry at me. "No rest for the wicked!" it shouts. "No rest for the wicked! No rest for the wicked!"
And I cry now. Maybe the wind is right and I must suffer. So I cry and cry. The ceiling makes faces and leers. I cry and the wind rages furiously. There is no rest for the wicked, I cry with the wind. No rest. No rest. No rest.
And then, spent like a rag, I drift away and dream.