Dylan Can’t Sleep


Dylan sat down in a chair and stared straight ahead. He took a breath, then released. His hands were on his knees, his tongue was in his mouth, and his eyes were peeled wide open. It was four o’clock in the morning.

He thought of Jess. He thought of her often. He wanted to go over to her house. He wanted to have sex with her. He wanted to have sex with her, tell her he loved her, then disappear for another two weeks. But he did not want to do it.

He took another breath. Four-Oh-Three.

“Shit,” he said.

He was on a high. Not a drug induced high, not an unhealthy high, but a normal, euphoric high. At least for him. He didn’t think others got it. They couldn’t. It couldn’t be normal.

It was the reason he kept so disciplined, the reason he carried few friends, the reason he stayed out of other’s lives as much as possible. He was bipolar.

The moment excitement struck, he became a new man – ready to go out and paint the town red. But when disappointment struck, he was nowhere to be seen – curiously, alone in his room at the very same place. Only, when depression set in, his demeanor was much different. When depression set in, it wasn’t difficult to avoid people. In fact, it was nearly impossible to even say hello.

He wasn’t melodramatic, he wasn’t selfish, he was simply troubled. Troubled not by something which was purely a burden, but by something which was also beautiful. Something which was extreme, be it high, be it low. Something which allowed him to experience sights others only dreamt of seeing, and nightmares others had never even begun to view.

How did he know this? It was simple – a look in the eyes. The desire to judge. No person with his condition dared to intentionally disturb another, for the feelings he felt were simply too catastrophic – be it his ego, or his id.

Dylan looked at the clock. Four-ten.

“Shit,” he said, staring down at himself. He looked to the cabinet. The cabinet contained alcohol. Alcohol would not help. Alcohol was not a good idea. Sex would help. Unfortunately, sex involved another human being. Involving another human being meant bringing another from their peaceful existence into his unsettled reality. He didn’t want to do that. He really didn’t.

Four – thirteen.

“Fuck it,” he said. He picked up the phone, found Jess in his contacts, then hit send.

“Hello?” came the sleepy voice.

“Hey,” he said.

“Dylan?” There was a pause. “What do you want? Do you see what time it is?”

Dylan scratched his head. “Yeah… I was just awake. Wondering what you were up to.”

Jess laughed. “Umm, I was sleeping. What are you doing? Why are you calling me?”

Dylan smeared a hand across his face, then raised his eyebrows, then let out a breath. “Do you mind if I come over?”

She chuckled again. “Is something bothering you? It’s not normal to be calling people at four in the morning, you know.”

“Yeah, yeah. I know.” Dylan stood up, and began pacing around his room. “I just felt like talking to you, is all. I feel like seeing you.”

“Now?! Are you serious?”

“Yeah, why not? Can I come over?”

Jess scoffed. “Fine, I’ll make some coffee. This better be about seeing me and not about anything else.”

Dylan laughed loudly. “C’mon Jess, you serious?”

“Yeah, I am actually.”

He scoffed. “I just want to see you. That alright?”

Jess sighed. “Yeah, might as well. I’m up now, so I’ll get a pot brewing. Come over.”

“Sweet, be over in ten,” he said, excitedly.

“Okay, okay. Just don’t be expecting anything else, okay?”

“Of course,” he said, then hung up the phone.

He walked in circles in his room as he gathered his clothes, with a pip in his step. He reached for the door handle, then, just before he turned it to open, he dropped his head.

“Fuck,” he whispered. He shook his head, then left.

– Thomas M. Watt

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