There are nights, many nights, when I don’t sleep.
I close my eyes, sometimes even drift off, but I never really rest. My brain never stops spinning. Instead, it’s playing some new song, telling some new story, telling me to talk to my wife even though she’s tired. Those are the good nights.
Some nights are spent thinking of what I’ve done, things I’d change, words I would unspeak. My mind gets made up: I’m a bad man who has done bad things. Not as bad of things as some. Not as many bad things as others. Sometimes, there are dark dreams, only dreams, but they seep out my ears so my head is empty when I pretend to wake up in the morning.
And the morning? I’ve taken advantage of staying awake. “I’m sorry, I didn’t get enough sleep.” is enough to draw out an apology and a lighter workload, some days. Others, I know words are flying behind my back: “If he’s so tired, why doesn’t he sleep?”
I can’t tell them that I’ve forgotten how, can’t reveal that I’ve forgotten how it feels. Sometimes, I never know if I’m asleep at all.