This morning began by sneaking up on me as I roll around sleepless and mindless in my bed, trying desperately to untether myself from consciousness. Night turned to midnight, turned to dawn, turned to morning. I was hyper-aware of all things around me: the light snores of my brother from his room; the passing motorbike; the early grocers pushing their carts by the house, thin tires rolling over the gravelly road. Two mosques, almost coordinated in their off-tune canon performance, sounding the call for prayer just minutes before four. Then, the dark outside the window and the slowly seeping sunlight as time struck five, then five fifteen, then five thirty. I heard my brother preparing to go to class. The front door opened, then closed. The sound was unmistakable, familiar after almost twelve year living in this house.
I stayed silent.
To everyone else in this family, I was asleep. I was anything but. When it was quiet I strained hard to try and hear something, anything. Footsteps or jingle of keys in their chain would help distract me from the noise of my own thoughts.
I counted and I heard one by one my family left the house.
When there was no one else home, I crept out of bed. Lethargy had finally kicked in, but it was too late to try sleeping now and hope to wake before the sun is halfway on its way back to its hiding place. I made an egg in a basket and a cup of crappy instant coffee. Ate my breakfast, which was suprisingly good. Washed myself with lukewarm water–something was wrong with the water pump today, so no hot water–then settled myself in front of the laptop. Had to keep myself awake lest I sleep past the time I should be in campus.
And I ended my morning with gunfire.
Until caffeine and drowsiness clashed in a terrible battle somewhere between my lungs and my head, pulsating in time with every shot fired. I quit the game and the sound still echoed. My fingers were quivering when I held my hands in front of me. Not so unsteady as to disrupt whatever I had to do, but enough to put a sense of wrongness everytime they had to stay still mid-air.
I don’t know what is it in daylight that made me want to curl up and hide, wrap myself with a blanket so tight until I became smaller and eventually nothing. I don’t know what is it in night-time that sang in my blood and roused me from any attempt to rest.
They say it is unhealthy.
I know it is. As if they need to tell me, while every day I could feel my body straining to be awake while I was tired, and every night straining to sleep while I was nowhere near weary.
But any retort twines itself around my tongue like snake venom, so I swallow it. Nod. And pretend that I know how to be healthy again.