This I Believe

Jason - Dallas, Texas
Entered on April 26, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

My eyeballs hurt. My cheeks feel droopy. The hollow of my brain is crammed full of echoing nonsense. We always want what we can’t have. And right now, at this achy hour, the one thing I want that’s beyond my reach is sleep.

I remember the last time I had it, though it seems ages ago. No, that isn’t quite true. I don’t remember it exactly. Rather, I loosely remember the moments just before it, and remember with great longing the moments just after it.

The ceiling fan was on. I remember that. It was that time of year when I didn’t mind being cheap and I refused to turn on the air conditioner to save a little money on the electric bill. It was cool outside, a little warm inside, and the fan created a balance between the two. The sheet was cold, and my knees popped as I pulled the blanket up just below my chin. The cocoon I created warmed to a Goldilocks-perfect temperature. Then I stuck my feet out the bottom of the blanket. I like my body warm, but my face and feet cold.

Then I went for the tuck. The tuck was the agreed upon action of letting my wife know I was home without waking her up with a harassing kiss. She wanted to know I was there, but didn’t mind waiting until she rolled over at some point in the night to feel my hand tucked under her side. Sometimes, on rare occasions, she would tuck her hand under me first. Letting me know, without having to wake up and vocalize her thoughts, that she was glad I was finally there. It was our way of saying goodnight. Then, that blissful sweeping away that I long for right now enveloped me and I was out cold.

As quickly as it came, it was over. Four short hours. I’d be lying if I told you that were enough. Before I even opened my eyes my brain was screaming at me to stay put. To ignore whatever was calling me to throw off the blanket and start the day. But then my ears perked up at the sound of my alarm clock. I love my alarm clock. Her name is Cera and she’s almost three years old. She’s set to go off at seven o’clock every morning.

With her tiny little hand slapping me in the face, I opened my eyes and it was all over. No more sleep. Just sleepiness. I believe in a lot of things, but right now, as I consider what I should eat for lunch, the one thing I believe in more than anything is sleep.