“I couldn’t sleep, and so I read, but the novels I was reading only stimulated me more, and I would find myself wandering around the house with rushing fragments of Dickens, Austen or the Brontës whirring in my head. It is tempting to think of this form of insomnia, the inability to fall asleep, as a disease of agency and control, the inability to relinquish high self-reflexive consciousness for the vulnerable, ignorant regions of slumber in which we know not what we do.” — From “Failing to Fall,” one of Siri Hustvedt’s New York Times essays on insomnia.
No Dickens or Austen or the Brontës among the Tower of Currently Reading on the floor beside our futon of late, no—true to Hustvedt’s experience, however, I have been doing a lot of my reading at night. Mostly because I haven’t been doing a lot of sleeping at night.
I refuse to bore you with the specifics of my sleeplessness—including the senseless daydreaming, the pointless wanting, the heavy and heavier pressure on my chest when I see the clock blinking into 2 AM, 3, and to the no-turning-back-now of 4; how at dawn, the sunlight daring to slip through the thinner patches of our curtains, do I first feel the first stirrings of sleepiness. Welcome, Whateverday, fuck you and your loved ones.
[Continued at “I couldn’t sleep, and so I read…” « Sasha & The Silverfish]