“The Thoughts of a Sleep Addict” – story by by Carlos Vicenty

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               High School is a sweet and bitter fruit, and it seems the typical person always bites into one extreme or the other. I find it weird that some of the other kids walk around the halls so blissful and unconcerned. They will always be kids to me if they walk like that, walking with such child-like ignorance. Haven’t those kids thought about what will happen at the end of this year? What they will be doing? No, they obviously haven’t. Otherwise their blissful ignorance will be swallowed by apathetic wisdom. I suppose I shouldn’t complain though, kids will be kids. Why am I really caring in the first place? Jealousy does not suit me.

               They always tend to catch me nodding off in the back of those classrooms. Those old teachers just haven’t realized yet, saying I’m too young to be acting up in the class like that. Saying that falling asleep is just me being young and rebellious. They like to make mountains out of mole hills. Is this how adults act? Really? This can’t be what I’m striving for, can it? I’m not passive aggressive; I just get tired easily. Do adults fall in one extreme or the other, just like kids?

               Insecurities set in every now and then. I find myself being groomed throughout the year, being bred to be a wonderful kid for the adults to show off. It doesn’t matter who is trying to act as puppeteer, I’m always passed on and made to dance in place some more. The rest of the time I live, I sleep. Its my personal place, the time where I’m cut free of strings. I don’t even dream, or at least I don’t remember any of them. The dreams don’t matter though; I strive for the simple separation. The time where I live for myself and just myself. Those annoyingly blissful kids and manipulative adults can just hold onto their extremes. They have nothing to do with me. I just want to lie in the middle of this erratic spectrum. Everyone stays away from the perfect balance of the middle, making it my one safe haven when my eyes close shut.

               I try to find joy and comfort around those children, I really do. Through the year I befriend some and try to enjoy the extremes that everyone seems so fond of. I try and I try. Their ideas are not like mine, though they are all single-minded. Their speech is far from mine, though they all share one tongue. They all seem to have found their place on the different edges of the spectrum. Then again, I have my place as well. I stop trying soon enough. I’m too far gone to become a simple child again.

               As the days go on, my lovely bed gets more and more comfy. Each night the invitations to sleep become harder to resist. Can I be considered an addict? It is, in a sense, my one wonder drug. I close my eyes and let my body fall back into the warmth. No matter if they’re a child or an adult, the people scattered through my life seem to respect my time in my unconscious. I’m never disturbed during my escape. Those ignorant kids can keep the excitement of the morning. Those bitter adults can lament in the afternoon. As for me, I’ll hold on tightly to the night. Curled up under the warm blanket, wrapped in the comforting darkness. I run away from such a trifling life. This is my only solace while trying to stumble around the spectrum.

 

(Note: the image is from a museum in Pompei – www.uwic.ac.uk/icrc/issue008/articles/06.htm – Ed.)

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