Photons

Author: Rob Lioy

A documentation of the insomniac thought process.

Tell yourself that writing can help. You know it can. It helped you pretend you were on a spaceship during the years of being tormented by everyone in your school. It helped you pretend you finally got to kiss that girl you had a crush on for years. Maybe it can help you forget everything that�s bothering you right now. Do a free write. Just like they taught you in class. Sit down and don�t stop writing, no matter what. Write down everything that comes to your mind. It�s the best way to delve into who you really are as a person, right? So where do you start? Well, starting with your current problems might be a safe beginning. You see, insomnia and anxiety go hand in hand. It�s like a devilishly synergistic relationship hell bent on driving you insane. It starts with you wanting to get to sleep early, or at least what you think is early. You lay down for about ten or fifteen minutes of peace, but, of course, five minutes before you would have fallen asleep is when your brain starts telling you the things you don�t want to hear. You think about all the bad choices you’ve made in your life. Minor and inconsequential details about certain things you’d rather forget come back to you in full Technicolor, high definition, digitally mastered quality. There’s no way of stopping it. It�s like a flood of bad karma washing over your consciousness. That�s when the anxiety starts. You panic slightly, feeling like you�re in the exact moment in time that you�re thinking of and wishing to God you could change the outcome. You�re helpless, though. Much like Anthony Burgess’ all too deserving Alex, strapped up and watching these horrible images on a projection screen. Everything that has gotten ruined in your life comes back to haunt you. No, let’s rephrase that. Everything that you have ruined in your life comes back to haunt you. This is when the insomnia starts. You can usually only handle five minutes or so of the panic and anxiety before you give up on sleep altogether. So what do you use to lose yourself this time? Pick TV. You know TNT will help you out with episodes of The X-Files until you�re tired enough to pass out in five minutes flat. But then TV�s always a problem, too. Maybe you see a girl that looks like her, or has the same mannerisms. Sometimes the smallest thing can remind you of her. Maybe there�s a movie on that you guys used to watch together. Your copy of Go is collecting dust because you don�t want to think about lying down with her, reciting every single line of that movie. Rewinding Jay Mohr�s little laugh over and over again. Nathan Bexton�s Malcolm-induced banana face. And that�s when you remember the last night that you had together, sleeping on separate couches across the room. You woke up to see that she had crawled over and fell asleep on the floor right next to the couch you were on. She probably sat there and watched you sleep for a while. You start to feel sick thinking about everything. Enough of this. Change the channel. You�ll be safe for about ten minutes. But then all it takes is one note in the NYPD Blue theme to transport you back to Orlando, waiting in line for Space Mountain. You can see her reaching into her bag and playing with those little blue Photon lights, so bright that they overpowered the celestial projections on the darkened walls. Your first kiss was in line for the Haunted Mansion. Your turntables used to be downstairs in the living room, and your records were stored in milk crates that you stole from 7-11. She took pictures of you that you still have. Ugh, floods of random memories and images flowing in with no rhyme or reason. Enough of this. Change the channel again. This will go on and on. Anxiety and insomnia. You should turn off the TV and maybe go for a drive. Of course, by the time you get your jacket on and find the keys, you�ve either lost all ambition or convinced yourself not to waste the gas. Driving 45 minutes out to Sodus to look at the stars would make you feel slightly better, though. Wait, never mind. You�ll just remember how she wanted to be an astronaut. You’ll remember the time she asked you if she was 58.6 inches or taller. (That�s the minimum height requirement as stated by NASA.) She got engaged two years later. You read over the beginning of this little rant (that’s supposed to make you feel better) and you realize that the word �synergy� was in her screen name. People on their balcony wolf-whistled as you kissed her in the pool the night before you both left Orlando. She tried to get you to eat celery back at your house, but you were too afraid to try it. She used to do that cute bunny dance in the car as you listened to some imported house CD she bought from the Virgin Records Megastore. More and more random memories. More and more of these images, suddenly becoming disturbing and depressing. You know, there is an �enter� key, you can start a new paragraph at any time.

That�s better. Give the poor readers a break. Writing’s supposed to make you feel better, isn’t it? It’s kept you free from trying any kind of drugs for the last 21 years, but it can’t keep you from crying when you think about her. You can’t use your writing to change the world in any way. You wrote that one story about you and her watching a shuttle launch a couple years ago. You read it now and get mad because it�s written so badly. “It glowed brighter than any light from the city as it shot up towards the infinite amount of stars that existed above the halo of light pollution.” That’s such a horrible sentence. You should delete that story. You also shouldn’t have made the ending happy. You’re miserable in real life, the story should be no different. Haven�t you learned anything yet? No Hollywood ending here. No running to her wedding and getting her back. You can just sit here and listen to depressing 80s music that reminds you of her, and type away in WordPad because you’re too poor to buy Microsoft Word. Speaking of being poor, your Winamp is skipping. Get a faster processor. Actually, get a job first. And please use the “enter” key.

That�s better.