By: Bethelhem Teame
My mind goes blank and my body numb. I sit glued to the chair I occupied, rooted on the same spot for hour and hours till the day finally wanes out. My eyes stare out lifelessly at the space that stood proud in front of me. And I could feel every single thought and idea in my head somehow vanishing into the thin air.My head feels empty thus very light on my shoulders.
I can’t go forward nor can I go back, I am stuck. Stuck thus unable to move, my motionless body however feels heavy despite the lightness of my head- this I observe with askance.
The clock on the wall signals a full hour- I barely notice the time. My eyes fill with tears and beads of tears trickle down my cheeks. ‘Tears?’ part of me forces itself to think and ask questions despite the emptiness of my head, despite the unwillingness of my brain to restart from its hibernation mode it’s been for a while now. But my eyes were not crying because I was sad, nor was I crying out of joy or happiness as you may have a passing doubt. In fact, I wasn’t even crying. But that my eyes spilled out pearls of liquids from inside. Just that my eyes were wide open for hours without blinking even for once. It was just a natural response of the lacrimal gland of my eyes, a natural procedure of secretion of fluid drops to protect the senses of sight.
A king-sized headache knocks at the hallow head of mine, my pulses were slowing down and my temperature dropping low with time. The ground below my feet seems to be moving round and round in slow motion, rocking me to the world of the mighty sleep that I fear so much. My breath was deepening and heaving, my eyelids were closing on their own accord. All my systems were shutting down and I was slipping into this frightening unconsciousness and the world of the unknown we often travel at times.
I tried to fight the empowering presence of sleep that was hovering over me but the fight proves to be even more tiring. ‘Maybe I should just give in and let the waves of the mighty sleep lullaby me to its embrace ‘-I thought of giving in but my body and my mind weren’t in coherence anymore and were working on different directions of actions that suck the last fiber in my body I thought I had stored up. It is the toughest war to ever wage- the battle between the head and the heart-. I get exhausted and lethargically wave the white flag to blow the fanfare of my surrender to the merciless clutches of sleep.
Maybe I wasn’t really stuck. Maybe I was too lazy to standup. Maybe I was too tired to move and self-hypnotized myself to this situation I am in now.
My eyes are now shut and my body goes limp, I fell off the chair I occupied earlier and the ground welcomes me to its cold accommodation. My heart fails little by little at each minute, my bones rebel against my head. Enraged my mind builds its own frontiers to protect the semblance of self-control left within. Sleep tried to control my senses and I , but I wasn’t yet willing to cash in all my control over my body to the mighty sleep, not yet anyway. I keep slipping back and forth between the two worlds of consciousness and unconsciousness. “This is cheating!”, a little voice inside me warns me sternly. ‘Choose one of these worlds. You can’t be in between, this is cheating nature.’ But I try to silence the little voice inside me and play deaf.
The world between the two worlds is confusing, much more confusing than my reality in the conscious world. The rules are blurred and the stakes involved change suddenly ,puffing off like the foams of clouds in the sky. The far seems near but is never near, the loud is never loud enough-in fact it is mute. Speed and time lose their meaning. Everything is blur, unedited, unabridged, unsure and sudden. I ran but can’t seem to reach, I shout but not loud enough, I fight and wrestle but with no victory to brag about…..
‘You must choose one, and then your confusion would be over….’ The voice fades away as if it is being said from far the other side, the echo of its messages vibrate in my ears so loud. ‘I must choose one!’ I say to myself in an incoherent language. My body tells me to surrender and slip into sleep while my mind tells me to wake up and face reality like the heroine I am – my mother’s daughter-. Either way I must make my decision quick and react.
The world outside goes on, so does life-uninterrupted. Maybe I was a lonely dolphin in my earlier life I seem to move about while sleeping in and out. But I came to realize something now, one thing is for sure and that is even the mighty sleep for once couldn’t win me over when my mind and body unite. Alas, I am tired and I no longer want to be stuck between consciousness and unconsciousness…..I have chosen to close my eyes and sleep till I am ready enough to face my realities outside (Hmmm who am I kidding now? I once read somewhere ……as a rose should shut, and be a bud again…..can I bud again after I once shut? )….can you believe this….sleep eludes me at last. When I decided to choose its side.
O sleep! O gentle sleep! Nature’s soft nurse, how have I frightenthee, that thou no more wilt weigh my eyelids down and steep my senses in forgetfulness??Shakespeare, HenryIV, part II.