These are the months that I’ve chosen to be asleep. These are the months when I stopped liking what I saw in front of me so I decided to change it. Alter the reality, contour it to my liking. I went to sleep because nothing can hurt you there, not even dreams or nightmares. You’re slowly dying and it feels like a warm blanket that’s wrapping itself around you. Do you know how good it feels to trick people into thinking you’re alive? Here I am buying groceries and licking envelopes. Here I am laughing at the appropriate times and asking the right questions but it’s all just an elaborate ruse. I look alive, like a real person, but I’m actually asleep. When are you going to notice it? Poke my skin and the flesh will feel real. Poke the insides though and you’ll see that it’s all dead.
While I was sleeping, I found others who were also dreaming their lives away and I stuck to them like a strong adhesive. Together we fell asleep and watched time get slower and slower. We didn’t have to lick envelopes and laugh at the appropriate times. We didn’t have to pretend that we were anything other than asleep.
You tried to call me; you tried to wake me up but at that point I wouldn’t have woken up for anyone but myself and I wasn’t ready. Because I knew that the second I chose to rejoin the living, I would have a huge mess to clean up and a lot of explanations to give to the people who had been standing by my body. I also didn’t want to have to relearn reality and color within the lines. There was real comfort in watching life pass me by as I lay there in my bed. I held on to my delusions. I squeezed them tight. I convinced myself that they were better than the real thing.
There would be flashes of life even when I was sleeping. They served as reminders of all the things I was leaving behind and I would try to push them out of my brain but some would still linger. Some wouldn’t let me forget. “Let it die. Let it crumble. I don’t care anymore. When are you going to realize how much I just don’t care?” But they would still hover over me, hoping that I would eventually let myself remember.
You can only stay asleep for so long until the senses get dulled and you forget how to wake up at all. You can feel the end beginning to start and your mind turning into mush, and that’s when you realize how quickly it can all turn permanent. It doesn’t ask for your permission. It just happens. This nap could easily turn into forever and is that what you really wanted? It can’t be, right? This was supposed to be a leave of absence. This wasn’t supposed to stick.
Oops, here comes forever.
Splash water on your face. Prick your skin and let it bleed. Call all of the people who love you because they’ve been waiting to hear your voice. Tell them that you’re going to be alright, that you were tired of sleeping, and you’re ready to take care of yourself and be okay with things. You’re ready to work hard for your health and happiness. You’ve chosen to be awake.