Monday, January 16, 2006


Up all night afraid of the noises of the blinds. Thinking what if...what if someone tried to kill me? what if I got attacked on my way to drop the rent check (which I do at night so as to avoid my ass landlords.) what if? what if?

Ah, the night terrors. They are a constant for me. No matter how many large male roomates I have, no matter what high floor of a building I'm on, no matter how sure I am I've locked the doors and windows...there is always a way in for the determined maniac or zombie. I am never safe at night. It's not the dark that frightens me, or the lonesomeness. I hear the train moaning its way along the other side of town and it comforts me a little-only a little-to know that those people are safely asleep, barring accident or crash. To know that if a horde of zombies broke in my window I would hear the train behind them.

It's only zombies in my dreams. My waking fears are much more prosaic-and interrupted burglary, a rape, a stalker I haven't met, something repulsive and close. The fear makes me sit up until 5 readin Dickens, makes me eat sleeping pills for the chance at some rest before work. Makes me leave the light on in at least one room. Makes me have bags under my eyes the next day.

When my lover stays over it is only marginally better. I think of Chase, Ramirez, et al. I think of the Mansons. I think of kind men watching women killed. I think horrible thoughts as I try to drop off sometimes.

If I let it, the fear will stop my heart. I think about what will happen when I die this way-will people notice? Will my art get distributed the way I would give it away, if I had my choice? Will the people I love be afraid? Angry? What? I think I should get up and write a will. I think if I do this I can't decide who gets what. It's 5 in the morning.

At least the nights when the terror hits me awake, I have no nightmares. The nightmares are worse, because my mind refuses to see them as anything but real. I wake up panicked, ready to run, ready to fight or die or be torn to bits- I wake up with my heart in my throat pounding against my tongue. Fast and hard. I feel like I've been fucking but the only thing inside me is the slime of the dream.

I would rather be afraid awake. With my eyes darting along the windowsill. I have never been raped. I have never been attacked by a stranger. I have never been abused or harassed or molested in a way to account for these fears. I would think it's the stress of settling into a new place but I have been this way for at least five or six years. My nightmares have become more frightening. My sleep harder to achieve.

They say the elderly get less sleep because they wake early and can't return to their rest. I wish this was my trouble. It would be far better to be up before I had to be, no matter how frightened, than not be able to get to sleep in the first place. Insomnia, insomnia, I keep saying it and I can't get rid of it.

Sometimes a warm body next to mine helps. But usually it's the same, except for the pleasure of company or comfort, the fears and dreams aren't hurt or helped by it. It's something I am learning to live with. I think maybe the receding of my depressions may have something to do with it- when I am depressed my dreams are neutral and blank. I can enjoy the nightmares when I take that view. I would rather have them than have to get treatment for being depressed- something I have never done- I would rather let my mind process whatever existential malaise I have than seek medications, pills, treatments, unguents, salves, counsel...The body heals itself.

Growth is painful?

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