Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Collette's Sleeping Disorder

Originally posted on 3/22/06

I just want to wake up, she thought. I just want to wake up so I can live my life. Some kind of life besides sleeping and spacing out.

Collette had tried everything. She'd tried willpower: nada. She'd tried music, scary movies and exercise: nothing. She'd tried all kinds of chemicals. Caffeine, Sudafed, Dexatrim, Ritalin, Red Bull, and a dozen herbs and homemade concoctions. She'd scheduled appointments with a psychiatrist and a couple of specialists but slept right through them. Everything left her more and more exhausted.

And even though it had been months since she'd felt fully awake, it also felt like months since she'd gotten a good night's sleep. She'd lay her head down after work, around 8:00 or 9:00. Instantly, she'd hear her alarm singing it's unhappy tune. Evening became night became morning became day, and she had missed it all.

She had no answers, didn't know the cause or the cure, and was becoming desperate.

And so when JT came by with some suspicious-looking meth, she coughed up some cash along with a tongue-in-cheek prayer. Let something work. Anything.

She'd been wearing dirty clothes for two weeks. Couldn't stay awake long enough to move a load from the washer to the dryer. Couldn't get her term paper done - hell, couldn't get it started. The house would have been a mess, if only she'd been up to making a mess. If she could, she'd stay up all night reveling in actual activity.

Around 11:30 that night, Collette offered up a prayer of gratitude to no one in particular.She sat on the front porch, happily observing the night activity she'd been oblivious to for so long. As she watched one street cat chase another into the gutter, lightning turned the entire scene bright blue.

Not lightning, she thought, her stomach twisting. It's not quite right. And yet... it's so familiar.

The lightning flashed again, too silently, lingering too long. The tougher street cat had joined its foe hiding in the gutter. Nothing else seemed to be moving.

The next flash of lighting came from behind her - inside the house? - tumbling her bizarre, elongated shadow down the front steps. I remember this. I had a nightmare about this. But she was fairly certain she hadn't dreamt in months.

She was still trying to piece it together when her visitors found her outside and took her into the sky again.


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