My Enemy the Sun, Part I
Insomnia and Living at Night
The daylight is streaming through my apartment right now and I hate it. While I do appreciate not having to use additional electricity to see what I'm doing, it is cold and goes where I do not want it to go. I much prefer the controlled warmth of a table lamp. To be able to flip a switch and have an intimate glow appear exactly where I want it to be—THAT is what I like.
When I was at the end of elementary school and about to enter junior high, I suffered from awful insomnia. It didn't help matters that my bedroom was freezing; between being both poorly insulated and positioned in the northern east or west corner of the house, I got to feel every cold spell. The wind would blow through the walls/windows and slam my door open and shut. At first I took refuge in the upstairs bathroom, huddling around the heat vent in the wall covered by a blanket and lying upon a bathmat. Sleep was minimal but at least it was something. Next I moved downstairs, making a little space for myself on the floor next to a couch, spending hours with headphones on listening to melancholy songs on the stereo before attempting to snooze for a few hours. Eventually I just gave up on sleeping at night all together. Once that happened my schedule became: come home from school in the afternoon, immediately take a nap till everyone else was asleep, get up and spend every dark hour by myself till it was near dawn, grab another hour of sleep before school. I had a poor relationship with my mother and stepfather and this allowed for their leniency; also my mother was more generous with the thermostat in the daytime so I generally did not freeze while taking my "nap".
Those hours I spent alone in the dark and quiet house were magic, the nighttime plush black and comforting. Each moment belonging only to me; every experience luxuriously private. In that delicious swath of time before the sun rose and destroyed it all, I had peace.
To be continued...
"My Enemy the Sun" is an ongoing series and the subject of what I hope to be the first of many books.
Please comment below with your own experiences of insomnia and living at night.