I don’t. Sleep, that is. I used to, once upon a time, in those days when the word “bedtime” actually meant something.

I don’t see the clock at home anymore. 10:30 was always my favorite time. There would be a book in my hand, glowing with the warm light of the lamp on my nightstand, and a pencil poised to underline and enjoy. 10:30 meant that coffee would be a choice instead of a demand the next morning.

Now there are moaning glances at cell phones and microwave oven lights; I hide from the clocks the way I used to hide from my mother when I was in trouble. Each morning I remember that exhaustion is the constant rather than the abnormal in my life. I don’t ask for sympathy; I’ve done this to myself.

Because the understanding and the people and the questions are addictingly soul-filling, and I can’t say no. I can’t say no because I’m afraid to lose this feeling. I don’t know why, though I think it comes from a place I’ve been before. So I continue skipping 10:30, staying awake to remind my world that I’m in it.


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