When she turns in at night without a pill, when she does not cap her sleep with a benzodiazepine or a barbiturate, the submission seems rudderless, prone to derail and crash into consciousness at any moment.
Anxiety formulates undiscovered planets, or circulating solar systems, or even whole galaxies that she cannot know or claim. (The complex calculations and spectrometers and specialized instruments of which she is aware she is not even aware.) Its adrenaline clots into crystallized despair at the impossibility of absorbing the vast libraries containing millennia of other minds pressed into letters, words, sentences, paragraphs, dense pages. Throbbing shelves.
The earplugs are pre-emptive. Now, here, there’s rarely any noise. Soft silicone, of candle wax and watts that dim into sleep. In the darkest night of an isolated field, without the sealing of each canal, she’d lie in a prolepsis of waking, anticipating sound before its untimed arrival.
Indecision spatializes in the mind’s night. While the sheet’s twisted in the torso’s tossing, a choice becomes a crossroads, each prong glowing in a hologram of multi-dimensionality. A dementia of shape, a Moebius strip of infixation that bulges as the mind boggles. The grotesque origami of the unconscious folding over and over. The black pearl of the bivalve mind split by a grain of irritation.
One young man puts forth that he counts prime numbers, solves geometrical proofs when he can’t sleep. Her mind, she thinks, would not be able to fasten onto the sterile structure of these distractions; it would remain locked out of the portal into sleep. She tells herself, instead, stories about herself, nestling into the abstract tissue of another version of that self. The sepia tones of possibility blend into the pastels of sleep, until there is no story at all, just sleeping intention.