Turning to Your Phone for a Better Night’s Sleep: The Truth behind Sleep Tracking Apps. I wake up to sound bits blurring to form the gentle hum of white noise that lulls me from my slumber at approximately the optimal time according to my own personal sleep cycle. I reach for my phone. I don’t hit snooze. Not even once. Snoozing disrupts the sleep cycle in a way that does not help the body feel more rested, or so I think I’ve heard. My mind is active before my body so I allow myself five minutes to tap through Twitter, calendar, email, Instagram, Snapchat, texts, and Tinder to find a Local Muslim Teen Killed in Virginia, three reasons I don’t want to go to work today, The Secret to Selling Your Art Online, kittens and coffee art, 16 Mistakes It’s OK to Make in Your 20s, an unsaved number saying asking do u still have adderall, and an unknown guy asking are we still on tonight. Old news, sigh, delete, cute and please, done, yes, if nothing else comes up before then. I try to grasp the last shreds of the last night’s dreams, but they’re nowhere to be found. I don’t think I dream as much as I used to as a kid. This is probably good for productivity in waking life, or so I think I might have heard.
Last text message stamps that turn from time to day to date watching fiction fabricate where love profession became kiss-sealed fate. Determining if terminal velocity has been accelerated passed at a change in change in distance greater than gravity while existing unknowing with respect to and with no respect for
space. A little bit too tipsy to the point of topsy turning. A little bit too little: a tiny chunk: a minuscule nibble. A finger in to test the waters, the temperature of misplaced tea. The temperature of a tepid day with higher than bearable levels of humidity for individual hairs to stay put in organized chaos. Chaos so chaotic it can only be described by a law, the second one, it’s fundamental thermodynamic the heating the cooling trying to contain to construct to solidify the abstract into the concrete so concrete so rigid so indifferent unemotional.
It starts. I wake up with a blank day before me. I try to speed it up with caffeine. Green tea. A choice I make so many days in a row that it can hardly still be considered a choice, but an act of normalcy. An attempt to have a pattern, rather than chaos. An attempt at a plan, rather than the quenching of a thirst. Water in a pot. Pot on a stove. A flame click click clicking on. A transfer of energy to heat the solution that will extract caffeine from leaves into a potable liquid for a second transfer of energy.
I brush my teeth, likely too hard. I think about gum health. I think about losing my teeth. I hear it’s a common theme in dreams. It’s not for me, but one day it might happen in my waking life. Might. Possibly. A latent fear, and one I may be causing by combating by doing too much incorrectly. I’ve always been conscious of my dental hygiene, but I don’t think I have very healthy teeth regardless. I won’t know what I should have done my entire life until it’s too late.
Quincy is meowing. One of his eyes is half closed. He woke up when I did, and is confused about how to start his day as well. A series of morning meows is his pattern. It’s how he controls his life’s tiny chaos. I control mine by pouring boiling water into a cast iron tea pot. Teavana brand. It feels artificial to me. Some kind of modern interpretation of an object with a purpose. Some kind of modern interpretation of my life’s plight: everything is exactly as it appears, but nothing has any meaning. I put the lid on my teapot so that condensation collections and rains over the tea again, as a way of strengthening. As a way of putting my knowledge of chemical engineering to use.
I wait. I try to wait. I turn on my computer. Mad Men is already paused, also waiting. I click play. I watch for a minute. I click pause. The tea should be good enough. I fill the chamber with too many leaves so I don’t have to steep them as long. This is how extractions work, although this may not be how the perfect cup of tea is brewed. But this is Cleveland, and I’m not trying to impress the queen. I pour tea into a white mug stained on the inside with tea, and on the outside with paint. I wonder how many chemicals make their way into my body daily, and how they are slowly or quickly poisoning me. I won’t know this until it’s too late either. Old age feels like a series of failures that could be avoided, if only we could see the future.
I walk back to the computer with tea in mug in hand. I light a joint. Puff puff, check my phone. No one’s ringing, but I’m answering. I sit in my chair incorrectly. I broke it not too long ago, but was able to repair it. I am now more aware of when I am sitting incorrectly in my chair, although my actual seated behavior has changed little if at all. I unpause Mad Men. I try to focus on the subtleties of the actors’ faces as they explain to me what it meant to be alive in the 1960s. I will never know what it meant to be alive in the 1960s. I sip my tea. I smoke my joint. I grow bored of the morning and all of its possibilities. I grow bored of 2017 and 1967 simultaneously: half a century reduced to banality in the eyes of a stoned 25 year old on a Saturday morning.
The sun is out. The cats meow to worship it. I open the back door, leaving the screen shut, so they can appreciate sun rays and a cool breeze from inside. Birds chirp. Cat eyes fueled by instinct follow. They meow understanding better than I do, how important it is to trust instinct. I don’t. I stay inside. Outside there are people. They might talk to me, or even worse, they might not. I stay inside. I check my phone. 9:15 am. No one’s there yet. Hours later, I assume I’ll hear from someone or someone else who has just waken up to see the start of the afternoon. That is not now. Now, we wait. We watch for chirping birds and think about how strong the desire is to pounce.
Self-amused so self-amused so self-amusing waiting. Deciphering a glass completely full of beer as a pessimistic situation. If I could transform this into water I would, but what else is an antichrist to do? Sit and wait so cute and adorable? So sacrilegious, but so sweet too. Bought as a bar stool’s user’s fee: alcohol’s a tired drug. But fine for sipping slowly sipping while rested others mindfully tug.
Self-amusing self-amusing so self-amused and weighted. Recombining strings of thought into one just one persuasion. Placing each piece part by part to form a many-sided section. This continually combined force-expansion is a compulsively-contrived self-embarked planless misadventure in perspective. Writing what’s unwritten as it’s revised by hapless happenstance: growing expectations form a shrinking image based on the fruitful failures of the past.
Self-amused and self-amusing so self so self so self-contained. Internal thoughts are internal combustion as a nullified hindrance watches mutually stoic wood grains. Time and time and timeliness: no punishment in consequence of no committed crime. Nothing moves save for all that’s moving, and everything is falling asynchronously in line.
Nothing moves but it’s all moving: self-righteous self-controlling cogs aid the plan of one machine. Alive alive alive and breathing: everything appears exactly as it seems. Just some added complication, just some muffled background noise, just myself sitting with my own delusion on an island of misfitting toys.
This is my play. This is my play. Just another dull part of a doldrum day, and then a blip jumps from the white of static and I turn to analyze its lurid noise. His arrival grazes barely touching with the self-puppetry of a hope so self-reprieving. So I’ll take control and pull some willing strings, until relieved I’ll watch them slacken. My role here tonight is of a quitter who didn’t want to win, who’d wish a well-meaning goodnight to anyelse before the inevitable sunset.
Summer is a line from my chest to yours that tautens as I move closer, as you reel me in. A setting sun’s indifferent angles’ shifts bring colder times as you pull away, as I stay in place. Autumn’s ever-changing colors, commit to one: jet black. Snap. Fall back. Unloosed from ties that bind. Years of choices, scripted fates, planning pointing unknowingly toward one small part of a much bigger destiny: just mine. This is a low point, this is post-fall. This is the brutality of time passing too slowly, too quickly fading away.
Winter’s fix: a snowflake. Complex, unidentical, quickly melting between fingertips. Whitewash in aggregate, but too hopeful, too heated body’s grip’s too tight, too fast: clear-coating. Hungry eyes can’t learn to wait: melting quick-fixes, blurring to new mistakes. After is a resurrection, after is the spring. Not healing, but reborn. Not fixing, but restarted. Moving on and moving away. Up, up, up and floating. I lost my grip, I lost my hold. Forgetting the bigger picture, for a self-doctored centerfold.
a combustion engine’s controlled explosion met with a flamethrower’s reckless abandon, and she kept her fire in to get him where he needed to be, just to watch the light bounce off of his face while he burned it all down.
A key turns in a door and a timer’s given pause from counting moments counting value-added increases on a desk. A key turns in a door and one heart races with excitement: a welcomed distraction from some visitor: a visitor returning home. Two doors open to one living room (an entranceway): filled with footprints crossing beaten paths but nothing more: never more. Two doorways face a central point with two figures standing in them: a daily meeting unscheduled ill-planned ignored but not forgotten. Two pairs of eyes are locked with expected unsurprise as one hope still standing crushed defeatedly subsides. Two pairs of eyes face one mistake repeated still existing in a house they both call home: cohabitating, living separately. A quivering hello is greeted with slight shoulder shrugging, as distracted eyes decide to answer a cell phone’s focal screen. One racing heart is slowing but still unbroken beating because breaking would require an unexpected unreturned feeling. A timer is unpaused on a desk where work’s residing as the moments regain value and the past is waited out unwinding.