I let my high-pitched alarm scream for a good 4 or 5 minutes this morning before cursing under my breath and defeatedly unplugging it rather than just turning it off.
It was a difficult morning - much worse than most - with memories of witnessed murders, failed relationships, self-loathing, and ghosts. Of all the sleep-preventing thoughts blazing through my bemused mind, the thought that motivated me most to get up and live life was the thought of delicious, scrumptious, warm jam-covered toast.
Voices of strangers outside my bedroom door made me hesitate a little before venturing forth in nothing but Chacos and a tightly-wrapped towel. The ultimate goal of my potentially embarrassing excursion laid just beyond the white bathroom door - at most, four or five short steps away from my own. One of the girls (who is over quite often) stops and stares for a brief moment (and it's kind of awkward). This kind of incident has happened many times before; and I'm quite certain she's seen me half-naked more than fully dressed to the point where half-naked (for her, at least) is my new norm.
The bathroom was frigid and a little bit misty from a previous roommate's recent morning ritual. Wiping the mirror with my hand like a squeegee, I inspected myself - starting with my face - and was strangely impressed with how wretched I looked; the bags under my eyes had at least doubled in size from the last time I stood in that very spot. For most people, that would have been 3 days ago; but to me it felt like 70 hours ago (or nearly three full rotations of the sun) - a depressing distinction that really only matters when the last three days all feel like one.
While in the shower, I just stand there and think (about nothing in particular) with my emotions on the brink of a catastrophic meltdown of inexplicable force; lack of sleep fueling the imminent rampant chaos. It's like a general lack of everything - of conscience or remorse - of self control or pity; it's frustrating, unadulterated apathy without a cognizant source.
"Eyes on the prize, chief - the reward is so close - delicious, scrumptious, warm jam-covered toast."
"What to wear today?" with a feigned form of pep. It's never really a decision - I pretty much always dress like I (ironically) just woke up; I don't even own a comb (because I don't particularly care), I either wear slippers or Chucks, my jeans, maybe a hoodie, with at least one sock neglectfully turned inside-out.
My emotional instability finally gets a hold on me; like binding chains being tightened I collapse to the ground - onto the camel-brown carpet with an alarming thud sound. I ball up on my left side and weep with my head in my hands and pray desperately that there will come a day when I won't ever have to pray for something as basic and simple as sleep. But yet there I lay, writhing and wallowing in emotional pain - tears falling from my face like unrelenting rain.
"Get up and live - you have no choice. This merry-go-round doesn't stop no matter how badly you want to get off."
Then I think of my delicious, scrumptious, warm jam-covered toast.
With a strange combination of determination and anger, I pull myself together and struggle my way off the ground like a newborn colt. With as much grace as I can muster, I don my blue pants, my black hoodie, my inside-out white socks, and my red Chucks. I throw my burgundy book bag over my left shoulder and tuck my phone into my right-front pocket, double check for my wallet (by patting my butt), and miraculously remember to plug my alarm clock back into the light socket.
Before finally exiting my room, I pause and glare back at my double-sized bed with a disturbing mixture of disgust and desire. I lightly shut the door behind me with a click (to keep the warm air in), stand just beyond the threshold, close my eyes, inhale deeply through my nose and let it out through my mouth, and make a mental checklist of all the physical things currently wrong with me:
My coordination is off (which makes me stumble a lot) and I feel sick to my stomach. My body is painfully tense, my eyes ache, and my head feels like my brain has swollen proportionately to the number of days that I've been awake. I'm freezing cold despite being dressed warmly. Everything is out of focus and I am unable to think in complete tho
My emotions are all over the place:
"Just go back" - they nag - "Everyone will understand. No one will ever judge you for not sleeping."
"It's not a matter of being judged" - I insist - "it's a matter of future. Whatever I don't do now, I'll have to do later. I'm not going to watch as my life passes by - now get out of my way, emotions; because if you win, I'll emotionally die."
Too late to eat; I'm too late for class. My embarrassing emotional breakdown has robbed me of the one thing that I looked forward to most: delicious, scrumptious, warm jam-covered toast.
Exiting the house, I consider cowering back - a kind of pre-pain prevention - an emotional intervention; knowing full-well that at the end of my hellish hike up the horrible hill only bad things await; things that, to a normal person, seem trite and mundane (like tying a shoe or saying hi to a friend); but being awake for 3 days straight means that I've crossed the fine line between fine and insane; basic interaction with people is a lot to take in when you were just curled up in a ball in your room - an emotional wreck - for no specific reason.
So on that crisp, wind-chilled fall morning, I long-marched my way upward - taking notice of how the wind felt like it was blowing from all directions and trying to smother me in its spiraling, swirling prison. I stopped briefly to crush a red, dried leaf under my red Chuck Taylor shoe. The satisfying crackle was met with a giggle and a grin; and my unbearable hike suddenly felt more like an ascension.