I’ve always been a night person. Sleep is not something that has ever come easy to me. Once I do nod off, I could sleep for a full day from the tiredness, but getting there is tricky.
When you have insomnia, you can’t really concentrate on anything. Reading becomes a chore. You go over sentence after sentence again and again, never comprehending the words. The mind makes you hear things. Every creak and whistle of the wind outside is magnified and when you look out the window, you think there’s someone staring back, until you realise it’s just your own reflection.
On nights like these, I do all sorts of things to try to fall asleep or at least pass the time until morning. The cross-trainer in my living-room is my friend. My socks are all paired up. I’ve see a hundred YouTube video clips. The cat has the shiniest coat in the neighbourhood due to all the brushing. My books are alphabetised.
There’s an upside to all this. I have a lot of time to think, to daydream, to plan. When we’re all rushing around in our busy daytime lives, there’s so little time to just think, to be calm and consider things. My favourite subject in these night-time hours is the subject of my friends. I think of some of the random ways in which we’ve met, about the aspects of our characters that keep us together and I reflect on what it is they see in me. A friend recently told me about an exercise in sketching out a picture of yourself as you think your friends see you. I wonder how close it ever actually is?
Try this, describe yourself. Stick to the physical characteristics only, but try to remain objective. It’s harder than you think. If it makes you feel any better, I’d say I’m about 20,000 sit ups short of a six-pack and I slouch. Have fun, and be honest in 500 words or less.
Writing Prompt: From the outside, looking in.