How to wake up.

Hypothetically, in 50 steps.

1. Turn lights off; blow out candle.

2. Scramble to bed; run into dresser.

3. Bruise and bundle up.

4. Close eyes.

5. Stop thinking.

6. Push him from your brain.

7. Extract him from your bones.

8. Breath.

9. Sit up.

10. Open laptop; illuminate room.

11. Look at empty room.

12. Look at empty bed.

13. Feel empty in empty bed.

14. Fight memories.

15. Lose fight because you are too weak.

16. Greet the ghosts.

17. Hear their midnight lullaby of synchronized hearts beating and lungs breathing.

18. Remember.

19. Feel it all again.

20. Realize you feel nothing because you feel everything but it is all gone.

21. Cry.

22. Put on Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (opt. B: The First Days of Spring).

23. Position yourself in the middle of the bed.

24. Feel the void on either side of you.

25. Get out of bed.

26. Try to locate cat in dark house.

27. Find cat; return to bed; scare cat by running into dresser.

28. Return to bed alone. As you started, as you deserve.

29. Repeat steps 4-8.

30. Whisper your thanks and goodnights to Joel and Clementine (or Charlie if you chose opt. B of step 22).

31. Say goodnight to bedroom spider.

32. Pray for no dreams tonight.

33. Slip through stages 1-5 of sleep.

34. Repeat three times.

35. Awake without alarms.

36. Greet morning and her mockery.

37. Repeat steps 5-9.

38. Open blinds; illuminate room.

39. Repeat steps 11-16.

40. Hear the ghosts rustle awake in each others arms, greeting the morning and each other with sleepy kisses from rested mouths and blue and hazel eyes saying their I love yous and I love nothing more than to wake up in your arms and I can’t wait to spend every morning for the rest of my life this way, even though their breath smells and they have sleep boogers in their eyes and noses they still find the other to be the most beautiful thing they have had the pleasure of seeing and feeling and experiencing and being with.

41. Repeat steps 18-22.

42. Get out of bed.

43. Drink 8 ounces of water.

44. Brush teeth; wash face.

45. Alternate nostril breathing exercise, because it is good for depression and stress and anxiety.

46. Transition into today’s yoga exercise.

47. All the while, repeating steps 5-8.

48. Fail.

49. Swallow pills.

50. Tell yourself you are okay.

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