Episodic Insomnia

30 Apr

Insomnia

Every night for a month he wakes at a fixed time between the hours of three and four, perplexed by the routes he took around the eastern Mediterranean years ago, following sea-tracks or mountain paths or those alleyways between tall decrepit buildings that hide or reveal a dome or minaret, glimpsing moments of a half-remembered journey. Or else he is mistaken, and it is not the journey that wakes him but the need to write about it, and his alarum is this hypnopompic camel, trotting over memory’s garbage tip: intransigent, determined. How is it that we reach that state in which the thing remembered merges with its remembering, the act of writing with the object of that need to tell and tell? And so he wakes again at a quarter to four, another dream-journey nudging him tetchily into wakefulness like a creature in search of its soul, and this time he is peering from a terrace on the milky heights at Gálata, or else gazing eastward from the battlements at Rhodes, and wondering whether he has always confused the journey with the writing of it, whether the two things have finally become one.

 

 

 

 

 

4 Responses to “Episodic Insomnia”

  1. Magda Kapa April 30, 2014 at 18:28 #

    This is so beautiful and I can only feel with you because I often go through these 4 am insomniac phases. And when I do I find myself again wherever pieces of me are left behind. Maybe we can only come into one piece on paper, complete only in our fiction or poetry. Bless and curse.

  2. Alessandra Tanesini (@Ale1808) May 1, 2014 at 08:08 #

    It feels as if I have read this before or is this a case where reading and remembering having red merge so that one reads what one seems to have known before?

    • richardgwyn May 1, 2014 at 11:55 #

      Or is it that the writer in question repeats himself/herself to the extent that everything they write becomes familiar to the point of predictability?

  3. marly youmans May 2, 2014 at 08:04 #

    It’s 4:03, and I’ve been up for more than two hours. Liked this. Thank you, Magda, for the recommendation!

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