No-Sleep Monologue Part 1

by Athena Washburn

Illustration by Brielle Curvey

published October 17, 2014

1:00 am January 17:

Man: Well Hello Melinda and isn't it a pretty day Melinda: It sure is Man, it sure is.
Man: But I sure could use a—
Melinda: I could use a a a a--

Man: What?
Melinda: A part, but apart from the particles, it’s been said before, it’s a pretty day—there are yellow bits of cube on the smooth glass surface, can’t cut them up color is color, yellow is yellow, a part of yellow is yellow, can’t break! I can, though, and a year ago I was sliding inwards towards my own peach navel, my own peach mouth and (I lay on the couch she pet the cat she pet my cat and I breathed so hard I thought I would stop pumping blood except to my left breast which was hard and her hand was soft and I wanted so badly to kiss her. I did not.) I hear the rude beep of the texting screen now and there are buttered waves in the background piping out from my cellphone's left ear, a minute. Hello?
Man: Melinda?
Melinda: Yes, it’s me! The ironie! The ironie! It repeats itself over and over, over the television screens in the dark while static eyes spark and bald guys purr in the dark. I'm a poet! I'm a poet while she sleeps in the bedroom. I have stolen everything I have I have stolen everything I have seen hahaha— Man: Go to sleep Melinda. It’s late.

3:05 am March 11:

but man you see I'm kind of spun now, my eyeballs are true spheres now, I'm blue and the kids can't possibly tell but I feel the dimensions of the space between us now, I can't touch anything! and the winter it's killing me, I need some sun.

2:29 am April 10:

when the body in full force becomes mine I will shock you with the force that is exactly equal to your force and we will stay there slammed up against eachother completely equal and the same that is what balance is two violent forces slammed up against eachother defying time and space because they are what they are and they are all the same we have been slammed up between slabs of blankness and of chaos

we live in the no-touching space between fingertip and glass and from our sick vantage point we sometimes see the dark underbelly of every moment, that is to say, of the present, that is to say, of everything and every time and—

the dark underbelly of the is and the is not
and the bright twinkle of our own yellowish eyes gazing all around, we are overwhelmed by the darkness between the blankness and the chaos and quickly put our hands around the sides of our eyes, gaze only at our shadow selves into our multiplied jaundiced faces burnt by the sun and overwhelmed by our tininess we look to eachother and say we are large we are huge we are all that we can see we are awake and we are like the waves (or go to sleep, you don’t know what you are saying) and then we slam up into eachother believing in our power because it is truly as large as the slab of glass and the finger tip because it is equal and they are equal and we are all the same shards of the same sameness but we are different because we in fact are weaker, we in fact break in two.

4:36 am July 24:

I can’t see anything darker than my red eyelids now. jitter jitter full mind in the empty house. words strung inside wired veins—companions, keep me up.
“Chained in the yard, a dead-eyed dog under the oleander tree.”

2:28 am September 12:

(The brain concocts, fractures visions.
Circling ancient useless thoughts, it apes so many faces Some places too.)

1:23 am November 4:

first useless image one:
there is a park up there with lavender and rough bark and twilight light periwinkle blues a fat old man
—Old Fatman—
sits in the middle ankles crossed mock butterfly
tight suit stretched tight across his knees, he hums a tune with a bowler hat and glasses on his head,

I blink he goes open to image two, inside now static black, image two:
some red rimming my closed yellow eyes light paints the interior of the seers red read

strange code they cannot decipher from out there, oh oh one oh open to scene three:
Old Fatman hunched migraine wailing, in the square with dark bark and dogs and knees words thud out of lips and eyes and limbs so “oh my head, oh my god!” or “my eyes!” or “shhh, go to sleep” rocks blinks quick tries to quell the chaos up out there and the blankness up out there

four eyed nomad sees glass walls across the street scene four to:
dark ribs thud thud and thighs now who lie in sheets toss spin useless images one two three image five still useless:

walls in the bedroom and walls in the head pound them down with hard disdain for fat lost man with tight pants and his pounding too hits hard like hard rain on pavement image six six six six six six:

a man in the city a woman in the city such selves in the city no trees in the city all eyes in the city trucks run wild in the city gravel spitters in the city so many sheets in the city and wired minds in the city escape the city! can’t sleep in the city! too much to see in the city! the mind takes the shape of the city! rebel from the city! images images images in the city! I’m age six in the city and 11 in the city! I live in the city! 18 in the city! the mind crashes in the city! the mind crashes in the city! image seven!


image eight:
some dreams, disappointment.

4:12 am December 1:

Man: Melinda? Where are you? Melinda: Hahahaha! Go to sleep!