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Another night, 4 a.m. and I'm still awake. At this point, what do you say? Fuck? Two or hours from now, the world starts again. I might as well just stay up and pass out halfway through the day tomorrow, finally giving in to a near-continual yawn. Then at least the world might think I was a little bit functional and not a complete loser.

Of course, this whole time I've been working. Its not like I'm lying awake in bed; I've got things to do. When I finally do give up, usually around 4 or 5 in the morning, there is no drama. Sleep overtakes me immediately. Now I am surrounded by infinite blackness. I don't dream, I just float. It's quite enjoyable, I guess, but I fear it like I fear nothing else in my life.

Three hours later, I slowly emerge into a gray world. It's 7:15. My alarm has been going off for fifteen minutes, at full volume on the other side of the room. The second alarm has just kicked in. It's the one that usually wakes me up, it's the one that creates enough utter confusion to thaw my brain enough to open my eyelids. Immediately, I go for the alarm. I have found that at this moment I can do nearly anything, so long as it guarantees me sleep. The second, clashing alarm is located closer to my bed, so switch it off. If this involved finding integrals, I'm sure I could do it just as well, but luckily it's just a little switch. <CLICK> and back to bed, under the covers with alarm number one still screaming. In fifteen more minutes, alarm number three will turn on. I will wake up again. Hopefully, I will stay awake this time. If I don't, there is no hope because the first alarm will play for and hour and a half more then shut off, guaranteeing me peace until I wake up naturally, which would be around 1 p.m.

Maybe I can get away with it most of the time. If I didn't schedule anything for the morning (and I don't) then I'm fine. It's a perk of working for yourself. Of course, a normal job is a fearful concept, so I must stay away from that at all costs, even if that means lower pay, no education, no possibilities. Yeah, no education. The sleep "issue" is the majority of the reason I was suspended from the university, and the majority of the reason I'll probably be there a long time.

I only need six or seven hours a night. If I could just get the damned hours in the right place, I'd be safe, right? But they creep up on you. First, you go to bed at midnight, then its 2:00, the next thing you know, you're going to bed at noon, while the rest of the fucking world is taking lunch, and you wake up just in time for the nightly news.

It isn't like it's free, it's your life. Time is money, ain't it? Well the time I'm awake isn't worth shit to anyone but me. There's no sleep anonymous for me, there's no medical assistance. Everyone thinks you can just choose to sleep. I can't choose to sleep any more than I can choose to die. And everyone wants to talk about insomnia, as if that were bad. What I wouldn't give to wake up every hour, just lie there staring at the ceiling. No, my bed is a tomb. It will bury me.

I wish I were addicted to heroin. I wish I were an alcoholic. All I'd have to do to justify my life is tell them, "I'm a fucking crackhead. I freebase every chance I get. I will whore myself for enough money to buy one hit." And I could. I could steal a radio, snatch a purse, suck a dick, and get a fix. You can't whore for normacy. I can't rob someone of his peaceful, calm slumber (God knows I would, too).

I have to take it as it comes, I can't win against myself. I remember two times when I slept easily and lightly. The first was as a Boy Scout. A pair of us were sent into the woods with a tarp and a box of matches, and had to survive a night. We were so cold that we clung together like young lovers until morning, shuddering violently all night. I don't think he slept, but I did, only when he got up to tend the fire did I wake. The second time was the first time I slept with a woman. I felt so completely alive, every hair on my body was extended, pointed towards her. When she moved, when she breathed, I opened my eyes. It was bliss, it was paradise. But it never happened again. I reasoned it was the way I felt about her. I had never felt so close before and I have never felt so close since.

Now I am alone, alone with my demon, the one that will haunt me every day to my death. When I stay up tonight, past your bedtime, you can feel sorry for me. When I stay up tonight past my bedtime, giving in to myself again, and another shard of dignity flakes off, I will feel sorry for me.

Just in case everyone thinks this is a joke or a parody, its not, it's my life.

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