Sleep has never come easy for me. The wheels are always turning. Insomnia is a byproduct of the creative process, which is why I take subtle pride in its affliction. You have to take the bad with the good, I suppose.
I suppose you could say this is a follow-up to How to Run. I suppose you could say that How to Run was a bit of a memoir, an opportunity to tell my story, and I wish that were true, but it’s not. In actuality, I wrote it not for me, but for a girl. How cliché, right? I honeslty didn’t realize it at the time, though it quickly discovered through the unbeknownst field of ophthalmology called hindsight. I wrote if for a girl. Like an adolescent boy, framing check-able boxes and preceding them with a question, I wrote it for a girl. For love, I suppose you could say. I know, it’s foolish, but desperate people do desperate things and I was desperate for love, I suppose.
“I’ll stay awake because the dark’s not taking prisoners tonight”
Not my lyrics, although I’d proudly claim them as my own. They belong to Twenty-One Pilots, a So-Cal alternative rock duo that my amateur writing abilities, as honed as I could possible make them, could never do justice. There was a time when I thought it disturbing that the lyrics of a couple of kids in their early 20s could speak to a 40-year-old man, but no more. Inspiration doesn’t come easy, especially at my age, so I welcome it in all shapes, sizes and age demographics.
In defense of my un-weary condition, Jakarta is 12 hours ahead of the Central Standard Time Zone and sluggish mindset of my home in America. Quite literally, my days have become nights and my nights have become unbearable. I don’t sleep. For most, evenings becomes more predictable as the sun sets and the hours pass. You finish your meal, you watch your evening sitcoms, maybe sip a glass of wine, and ultimately, you drift off into slumber. My nights aren’t so predictable. Spontaneity is good for vacations and Tinder dates, but it’s miserable when all alone in your small apartment between the hours of midnight and 6 am with no cable and questionable Wifi. It’s exacerbated by the fact that everyone you know in America is awake and ready to chat. You would ASSume this to be a comfort, the comfort of family and friends in these sleepless hours, but it’s not. I was surviving in Indo, but living in America. That’s NOT how to sleep.
I take that back, let’s not use the word survive, because it’s not in the vocabulary of real survivors. It’s only used by assholes that think they’ve overcome personal tragedy. These are the same assholes that claim themselves to be independent and/or self-made, when they’ve paid little attention to the process of manufacture in any sort of detail. Surviving is easy. Why? Because there is no choice involved, you have no options, it’s just done. Living is a lot more difficult. There are decisions to be made and these decisions have real and sometimes permanent consequences. The stakes are high and they may cause one to lose sleep.
And this is where I found myself, night after night in Indo, sleepless, stuck between hope and regret.
So what did I do to finally get some sleep? What do you think I did? I got rid of the bullshit.
So raise your glass and fluff your pillow… To Sleep!