by Trisha Kostis
10:00pm. This is good. I’ll get a solid 8 hours if I fall asleep in the next 30 minutes. Just don’t think about work – nothing good can come of that. Think about that drop-dead outfit Daenerys wore on the steps of the capital at the end of season eight. Where can I buy that? Should I wear my brown or black button-down blouse with the mauve sweater tomorrow or is that just too Forever 21ish? Do those gray pants even fit after I gained 10 pounds because I decided to quit smoking? Why the fuck did I quit smoking? Damn, I want a smoke so bad right now. And a drink. Fifteen years of sobriety my ass – I’ll bet a nice tumbler of merlot and a cigarette would put me right out.
I’m going to count my breaths like the “expert” recommended in O magazine. One, two, three, did I lock the front door? The bloody crime in this neighborhood lately. Fuck it — I’ll just be murdered. Wait, I remember flipping the deadbolt right after I closed the doors on the wood stove. Did I totally put the fire out? Can burning embers escape out of a hermetically sealed wood-burning stove? What if an ember gets out and flies onto the cat who, for whatever reason, has to lie right in front of the inferno. Fucking cat. Do I hear the cat crying? That’s her, she’s doing that weird meow, the one I am certain means she has an undiagnosed cancer, undiagnosed because I’m too cheap to take her to the vet. It’s probably metastasized – wait, does that even happen with cats? I’m sure it does and I’m sure it has. She’s riddled with cancer and dying right now and I don’t want to get out of this bed because if I do…is that my neighbor downstairs scratching on the ceiling? What in the hell is he doing — peeling asbestos at, what time is it? No, don’t look at the phone. Do not check the time or you are thoroughly and completely screwed. If it’s 12:00, I may still have a chance at a semi-restful night’s sleep. If it’s 1:00, I might as well get dressed, get in the car, and head to the bar because I have a better chance of running into Beyoncé at a 7-Eleven than going to sleep. Why didn’t I take the goddamned melatonin at 10:00? Why do I continue to think that sleep is something I can do on my own? Where does that crazy hope come from? I hope I remember to pay that overdue speeding ticket tomorrow. Can I get arrested for an outstanding speeding ticket? How am I going to tell my grandkids that they can’t come to Grammy’s house for a sleepover because I’m doing time? Why am I doing time and Trump isn’t? That has to be a mistake. I can’t afford Giuliani for my defense. I’m gonna end up sharing a cell with twenty other convicts and I will not be able to use the bathroom until I’m released. What happens if you hold your urine for like, I don’t know, five days? Shit, my sister’s birthday is in five days. I totally forgot to get her a birthday card. By the time I find one that’s meaningful, find one stamp, and get it mailed, I’ll be on the sister shit list. Does Beyoncé have a sister? I should set a reminder. I’m not picking up that phone, not gonna do it. I’ll just remember. If I repeat “birthday card” over and over while I’m lying here for like 30 minutes, then I’ll remember when I wake up. Wake up, huh! You have to sleep to wake up. That’s not gonna happen if that cat continues to Riverdance in her litter box. When was the last time I cleaned the litter box? No wonder she’s crying. I’d cry too if my toilet hadn’t been flushed in like, I don’t know, maybe 4 days? I’m such a shit pet owner. Google “Beyoncé pet” tomorrow.
Maybe I should take the melatonin now. But what if it’s like 4:00? I’ll sleep for 2 hours, and be as fucked up tomorrow as my second day in detox. I feel really awake like maybe it’s closer to morning than night. The pale light through the window is confusing since we turned the fucking clocks back. Could be 6:00, could be 3:00. The last time I intentionally got up at 3:00 a.m. was that flight to Cabo. If I was in Cabo right now, it would be an hour later than it is now. I really feel like it’s 5:30 which means 6:30 Cabo-time. If I pretend I’m in Cabo, I could definitely get up at make-believe 6:30 and get through the day. I’m doing it. Fuck this sleep thing. Just gonna check my phone.