A very short story about Insomnia. Written on a whim during a bout of my own.
|3:54 am. Late winter. A young man sits alone on the balcony of his 48th story apartment, cigarette dangling lazily from his mouth, eyes fixated on the symphony of vibrant oranges and shimmering whites that play out against a backdrop of pure nothingness. The crisp night air gently glides across his face, carrying with it the dull whispers of the breeze and the gentle hum of a sleeping city. He sighs, and tosses the cigarette over the edge.
Another sleepless night. He’s restless, but he can’t stop a thought long enough to work out why. His mind whirs with a million anxieties and regrets, past, present and future, would be's and could've beens.
Memories, heavy and stained with nostalgia, play out on an endless loop. People, places, things, countless regrets and mistakes.
And so he stands there, gazing out over the tranquility of a city at rest, wondering how many other people are sharing it with him, their night similarly consumed by fear, and worry. People hoping, praying, for just one night, just one hour, in which they aren’t reminded of every single failure, or slight, that they have ever or will ever commit. Just one.
Tossing the thought to the back of his mind, he shuffles quietly back through the screen glass doors, and climbs uneasily back into bed, doomed to lay in limbo, not quite asleep, yet not awake, until dawn’s first light radiates through the gossamer curtains covering his balcony door. It’s an ordeal he’s played out a thousand times before, and one he fears, he will be condemned to live forever.