Friday, February 18, 2011

meditations on a sleepless morn, part IV

continued from part I, wherein andrew compares not sleeping to digestion, part II, wherein andrew recites shampoo instructions and says strange things about death scenes, and part III, wherein andrew reviews the film phoebe's wonderland

i fish for my alarm clock. it's wedged between the bed and the wall, and i have to be careful not to pull too hard or the finicky plug will fall from the socket and i will lose the time. 

the red digits read five fifty-seven. 

if i fall asleep now, i'll have nearly three hours before i have to wake up for church, three hours before brendan arrives, knocking mercilessly at my door. i set the clock on my bed and listen to the wind on my windows. i try to tease out the sounds, to match them with their visual counterparts. 

the sounds get the best of me and i abandon the pursuit of sleep and all its nonsensical histrionics. i roll my naked body out of the warm bed and scamper quietly to the living room where i fetch my laptop. i start composing this post in my brain even as i pad back to my room. i wonder whether i'll mention queequeg's teeth or the ridiculous image of me creeping past my roommate's door, a covert mission made absurd by my lack of appropriate creeping attire. 

i wonder, now typing, whether that's too much, whether i should say that. i wonder who will read it and what they will think. i wonder where one draws the line between propriety and personal revelation, between art and confession. i think of anne sexton and robert lowell and the confessional poets, even john donne, the pastor-poet, all saying things straight, not shying from talk of the body or the everyday.

i think of my friend who, as an adult, pooped her pants and then, with a smile and an uncontrollable laugh, proceeded to tell all the world. i think of my ex-girlfriend who penned a brilliant, socially conscious personal essay on race that she never published because it was tangentially about her cousin.

i stop writing, my finger poised over the delete key. will it somehow hurt my reputation or disgust my friends to say that i am naked now, to construct no barrier between the truth and the page? will it reveal too much to nakedly confess that in september of 2010 my every thought spiraled back in a cloud of longing and sadness to my ex-girlfriend but that now, more than a year after we began a slow descent into separation, i am finally happy and content in my single skin?

to be continued one last time . . .


Brendan said...

Thanks for the shout out!