Sunday, February 16, 2014

Sleepless Night

by Shawn K. Inlow

I was first to bed last night.

It was almost midnight and my family was quiet.  Mrs. had drifted off in front of the teevee.  Boy was under headphones and thinking about music and art.

The stories I did not write today gnaw at me every night.  They visit me when I lay down and I think of where I left them every night before I drift off to sleep.  Someone is trying to tell me something.

I awoke at 4 a.m.  Sometimes the fear of life grips me and to settle myself down I open a book and read until I can no longer keep my eyes open.  Lately, though, I have felt fine.  Right.  Good with things.  But still I lie awake.

I open a book and read a few chapters under a tiny light and transport myself into someone else's story.  I put the book down.  Turn off the light.  And lie awake looking at the dark window.

And everything comes back.  My stories return to say, "Hello, and you've been given another day."  I think of my father.  Gone.  My mother.  Gone.  I notice the woman beside me who came to bed while I slept.  I think of the love story between us.  How I sang at her doorstep.

The ribbons of memory and startling, breathless tendrils of joy curl out from my body as the window frame hints a shade lighter.  The world between the sleeping and the waking, you can breathe in it.  You can feel in it.  You can remember who you are.  And be glad.  And be grateful.  And so deeply, deeply in love.

I sit on the side of the bed and put on my Sunday clothes.  Impossible sleep, I am the first out of bed today.  I quietly make some coffee and I can see the dim white of snow outside.

I have been given another day.

The dawn breaks and I walk into it fully alive.  Not knowing what's next or how this story turns today.  But something woke me and whispered in my ear.

You have another day.
You have another day.


  1. I sometimes feel things like this, but I sure wish I could share them so well.

  2. Shawn, I just opened your site and it randomly showed me some posts you wrote a while back. I commented - inadequately I feel. The trooper thing and the one about the landfill. Good stuff.


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