I canít sleep - or is it that Iím afraid to sleep; to face my dreams and the memories that haunt me.  My eyes are bloodshot, sunken deep within dark circles.  My face is grey and drawn and I canít seem to find solace.


Sunday morning I wake to light streaming through my windows, burning my eyes.  My head is throbbing; an intense pain that forces clarity away.  I donít work Sundays, so I clean the house.  I do laundry and then kick it in front of the TV before passing out from exhaustion.


Sometime Sunday night, I wake, my alarm clock is blinking.  I had the same nightmare that I had the night before.  I canít go back to sleep and go through the rest of the night feeling listless.  Monday morning my boss tells me I look sick.  I shrug and say Iím just tired.


I go home, open a beer and pass out on the couch.  Three hours later I wake up in a sweat, the nightmare jarring me from my sleep.  I canít go back to sleep and I canít seem to find comfort.


I buy Vicodin from a friend on Tuesday and pop three pills - three thousand milligrams worth - and slowly drift off to sleep, but now Iím trapped inside the nightmare.  I try to force myself awake and when I finally do, my sheets are soaked and I have claw marks on my face.


I go to work Wednesday and drift around the restaurant in a haze, my mind unable to focus.  Guests complain that I keep forgetting things and my boss calls me into the office but I fell asleep while heís talking to me.  He sends me home after asking whatís wrong, I couldnít tell him because I donít know.


Later that night I manage to eat without throwing up.  I watch TV and drink a pot of coffee.  There is no way Iím going to fall asleep again.


I wake up on the couch; my pants are wet from the coffee I spilled.  I go out to the all night gym, climb on a treadmill and start to run.  Three hours later I pass out.  Iím dying of thirst; I must have forgotten to drink any water.


Thursday night after work I buy an eight ball of cocaine from my friend.  Iím determined not to let this nightmare grip me again.  I brew a pot of coffee and sit there doing lines all night.  I type feverishly at the computer but the words I write are meaningless and unintelligible.


So I do more coke and make another pot of coffee.  I stay awake but I feel like Iíve been kicked in the face by a mule.  I go to work Friday morning and my boss sends me home after taking one look at me, and suggesting that I seek professional help.  I know heís worried about me but I still donít know why this nightmare is haunting me.


I buy another eight ball.  By this time Iíve been up for three days and I wonder if my mind is finally tired enough not to dream.  My heart is sick and itís pounding so hard I feel like itís an alien trying to claw its way out of my chest.  My thoughts wonít make sense anymore and words are mysteries that I canít comprehend.  I smoke a cigarette but it makes me sick to my stomach.  I open a bottle of wine but itís tasteless.  I guess my throat is too numb from the cocaine to taste anything.


I see dust on the TV and a sink full of dirty dishes.  Someone must have thrown up in amongst it all and I see that too.  I try to lie down, but the act of being prone cause my head to hurt again.  Maybe I donít exist or maybe Iím just in hell.


I take a shower and afterwards I canít recognize the figure in the mirror staring back at me.  My ribs are sticking out and I briefly wonder if I should eat something, though Iíd probably just throw up again anyway.


I do a few more lines and realize the eight ball is almost gone.  I donít remember snorting that much coke, but my entire face is numb so I know I did.  I realize that I donít seem to feel anything anymore.


I reach for my razor; I want to know if I can feel.


I donít and Iím mesmerized by the blood streaming down my arm; fixated on how it pools on the carpet.  I begin to laugh uncontrollably and wonder just how big a puddle I can make.


I reach for the razor again.


Time seems to slow and I fall down on the floor.


As the light begins to dim I know that finally this time, Iíll sleep without dreaming.




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