Category: Sleep

SWEATY BALLS

i think
the most pain i felt
through all of that
were those two nights
where you slept
fully clothed,
in your sticky t-shirt and your
nylon shorts all clinging
to your hairy thighs and your
sweaty balls in the
sweltering heat

you laid face down with
your head turned away and
for those two days you didn’t
shower

you slept
with your arms wrapped
tight around your
chest and you wouldn’t
come closer to
me so I laid there
near but not too near
staring at the
ceiling terrified
i’d bother you
terrified
i’d lose you
knowing
you were already
lost.

A BOY AND HIS CREATURE

“fuck your God, your Lord, your Christ. he did this: took all you had and left you this way.” in the spirit of rapture and progressive rock, one lonesome teenaged boy burned this song onto a disc and upon it scribed a name in pink-red sharpie. the boy’s room was messy and saturated with a stale adolescent odor, the same one his teachers and classmates noticed on the rare occasions when he showed up at school. his absence was as palpable as his presence: the boy was a bear in camouflage, tall and broad, covered in scars from old facial piercings — one jagged through his eyebrow where a ring had been ripped clean out (the hairs still struggled to touch over the rift.) he also had scars carved in with a razorblade — a pentagram on the forearm, then a change of heart and a “John 3:16” carved above it. he was brawny and dark, with eyes a sort of jaded grey that too freely gave away his sentiments. he was “that kid.” you know that kid. everyone does.

a scene:

it’s one am and the cd is playing. the boy leaves his window open a crack and the blinds up just a hair. he is “cleaning,” moving dirty clothes from one pile to another, waiting for glowing eyes to peer in from outside, for clammy shaking fingers to slip through the crack of his window and hook themselves to the frame for leverage. he never has to wait long.

the creature, not an adept climber, struggles through the window and fails to catch itself on the inside of the room. it tumbles awkwardly to the ground and curls up on the threadbare mattress, still shivering from the frigid night. the mattress is full of tiny prickled holes where the boy has lit it on fire to watch it burn. there is no sheet and the bedding is musty, heavy from being unwashed. the creature doesn’t seem to mind.

this is the routine: bare feet on wet grass, bloodied knees smeared with mud, the sordid night freezing the creature’s soft lungs from inside out, guts full of purple crystals. scale a small wall and tumble to relative safety: a few stolen hours after midnight clinging to each other on this filthy mattress, the burned cd playing “fuck your god”, everything stained an electric blue from the broken television propped on the dresser. the night is safer for their union as the world outside does not approve. the boy is too big, too scarred, too dangerous. the creature is small and dark and delicate, requires proper care that the boy cannot provide. this is what the world thinks: but love does not listen to the logic of the world.

LEAVE HIM SLEEPING

though he may watch you just that way
with narrowed eyes, a bitten lip
the taste of metal, scent of sweat
though he may say it perfectly
I want to make you bleed —

leave him sleeping.

though he may twist you
pin the hands and bite and growl
gouge you out just so
though he may tell you
you are my only need —

leave him sleeping.

when he tells you you are wrong
but does the same himself
when he tells you not to hurt
but draws the blood himself
when he tells you pretty lies
but keeps the truth for himself

leave him sleeping.

and when you hear her crying
though hidden she may be
clutching at your arms, your teeth, your brain
and begging listen — listen please,
don’t go forth unblinking, turn and
see her, take her with you

but leave him sleeping
leave him sleeping
leave him be.

WE STARTED AT DAYBREAK

an hour of sleep over Vigo. cheap champagne and fireworks and two hours of sleep on a Friday. two hours of sleep with a torqued spine and a broken promise weeping like a rope burn. two hours of sleep and a jar full of moonshine. two hours of sleep and my blood can’t keep warm. three hours of sleep in a bed with four people. three hours of sleep and nightmares of green smears across the sheets. three hours of sleep and is that contagious? four hours of sleep and you wake up crying. four hours of sleep on the bathroom floor. four hours of sleep with an epileptic on the sofa. four hours of sleep with my throat clenched hard in the jaws of a stranger. four hours of sleep with the tv left on. five hours of sleep with the whole world beside me but I can’t stay awake to see it. five hours of sleep on a hill above the city. fice hours of sleep with a mouth full of fur. six hours of sleep over Paris in the dark and zero when I tell you to leave me. six hours of sleep scraped again by my own edges. six hours of sleep and his back is turned. seven hours of sleep waking up to love each other but zero when it’s hot outside. seven hours of sleep on a futon by the river. seven hours of sleep in another dirty basement but it’s starting to feel like home. eight hours of sleep in my own goddamned bed with four walls and electric heating. eight hours of sleep and I finally get it. eight hours of sleep alone.

the wallet pt. 1

Made an Aussie friend today. I had seen her hanging about before and very nearly approached her with a casual “You’re the only one of these fuckers I want to be friends with” but thought that might be too forward considering I was basically judging her strictly by appearance and she could still be an asshole. I think I was right though, she’s a cool chick. The rest of the international students (including other Oregonians but excluding PDXers) are irritating on an other-worldly level, like inner-thigh-chafe-at-the-county-fair irritating, or rather can’t-sleep-due-to-mosquitoes-buzzing-in-your-ears-and-you-repeatedly-sleep-slap-yourself-in-the-face irritating (which I have very recent experience with as well.)

Anyway my wallet was stolen today at the fac, though I do accept full responsibility for the loss as I was asleep through all of class and still groggy during break when I went to buy espresso and a blood orange. The douchy counter guy yelled at me when I touched his muffins (kid you not) and in my grog and distress I most likely set it down someplace intelligent like on the floor or in a toilet and someone, wisely, lifted it.

Fortunately I have been mentally and emotionally prepared for this to happen the entire time I’ve been in Lyon, and have been storing only cash and my buss pass in the wallet, so all in all it’s like a 40€ cost — annoying, but not as bad as a day with the other international students, see above.

Regardless, I’m getting tested for narcolepsy in October when ma sécurité sociale kicks in. This shit has gone too far. I even stood up in class today to keep from sleeping and then fell asleep leaning on the wall.