For I am sure you can agree that who I go to bed with is far less telling than if I were to tell you who I cannot sleep without. I am sure you can say the same. And so I will waste no time, and head straight for telling you who I must have.
Explaining this comes strangely but strongly, and toned remarkably as if from another time. I cannot explain this, but I do not fight it. Very often I have little control over these things.
For I know that I am, above all else, given completely to writing. And while that does not make me a writer, it does give me purpose, and for that I can be as grateful as anyone can be, as one is grateful that they have, at least, a mother.
My relationship with it proceeds thus:
It begins when you lie down. And you know this beginning feeling, surely. It begins with your bones not only being tired but with the core of each bone begging for rest on top of your crunching skeleton—you have had a day wearing upon them, and days can be so terribly heavy. And yet! Despite promising that you will never get up– not for anyone, ever again– despite being in-comprehensively exhausted and already sworn never to rise!…you pull yourself up and go to the restroom.
This is how I feel when I am falling asleep and I remember that I have not written in the day. And then when tired, fumbling hands meets pen— when tired, heavy eyes meet the first letters of ink—suddenly I am kept up in the way one is kept up when they have fallen in love.
It is not that I do not wish to sleep—how the pillow calls for me as I beat my pen across paper—but it is rather more that waking lets my mind go to places that sleep might yet take from me, and I cannot bare the threat of it yet. And how the soreness continues here! But it has moved to my heart, and begun to stretch something deeper than my heart will go.
And I no longer belong anywhere but with the pen strokes that paint the men, women, chidren, streets, skies, laughs, kisses, yawns, dresses, leaps, cries! I play all my doubts, my mantras, my humors on those midnight letters, a melody of profoundly everywhere I—
I sit there, hunched over, terribly tired, so very in love, absolutely aware and completely oblivious, alive with an ink promised to paper, which has promised to be nothing. To be tucked away in a drawer, clamoring with other hidden characters stained with ordinary portraits captured in extraordinary light and—
It is not seen. It goes to rest, once I’m spent, and I crawl once back more under my sheets, and succumb to a slumber deeper than any words could follow, in an extraordinary place my soul has newly stretched.
And if that compulsion and affection is not purpose, may I never be a mother, for it is my imagination that to care for a child would be colored much the same, if not infinitely more rewarding.
And I must go to sleep now for I have said my peace. Also, the candle is nearly worn out, and I wake up so dreadfully when I must turn to a lamp instead.
How strange, to share what normally goes into a drawer. And how little harm my purpose has done to anyone, but possibly take up some small space in their time.
How absolutely lovely of a purpose have I made for myself. I shall sleep with it every night.