Most nights, I struggle to sleep, and I think it’s because the city hum is so loud. These walls that separate me from the apartments around me are not even paper thin, it’s like plastic wrap. If you try, you can see your neighbors, you can hear them, and if you wanted, the walls would probably allow you to hold hands. The lusting moans and groans, the babble of television sets, screams sparring well into the morning hours.
And the noise from outside? The horns from cars, the rumble of the motorcycles and mopeds that rip through the darkness of night, it’d be a wonder if anyone in this city slept ever. The thirty-foot neon sign of a voluptuous woman’s figure illuminates the upper stories of the city, the curves and the lingerie advertising for a so-called “Gentlemen’s Club” – which is a crock of bullshit. No true gentleman debases himself by going with a stripper. And then there’s the steady chatter of the skytrams on their rails, dipping through the canopy of the forest of skyscrapers. Their conductors have no regard for the time on the clock as they sound their droning whistles. ARRIVING AT … NINETEENTH … AVENUE. GET OFF NOW. Like the clockwork they so enjoy ignoring, every couple of minutes the routine restarts. How am I supposed to sleep through that?
So, I don’t really sleep, as I’ve said. Even as a kid, the idea of putting my head to the pillow every night congealed in my stomach like lead and I would resist from head to foot. The nightmares, the night terrors, hauntings, it was like being drowned inch by inch in a room. You aren’t so panicky in the beginning, but as the night presses on the amount of air you have left to breathe depletes, and the fear makes the clothes grip to your skin as though to wring out any life left in you.
I’m no longer heavy with the distrust of my own brain. Why would the organ that I use the most want to ruin me? My masochistic brain must want me to suffer, that’s the only conclusion I can come to.