4:27 a.m. – View From My Pillow

The street light outside and the clock radio provided faint illumination as I lay awake. It had been a long day.

 Earlier I sat in my comfortable chair to watch the evening news. I don’t remember how much I saw . Around 2 a.m. I eased into that realm where I began to know what was happening around me but was yet unable to move. Minutes, maybe hours later, I really don’t know, I began to struggle against gravity and finally pried my body loose and slowly came to my feet. I found the remote, turned the television off, then the light and not unlike one who had too much to drink staggered back to my bedroom.

By the time I arrived I was more fully awake, and rather than going straight to bed I first paused to see what new comments and images may have been posted online. The bedroom television was on. When heading for the living room earIier I must have thought I would be only a moment. Paying little attention to it, I left the TV on, finding comfort in its droning sound as I worked the mouse and scanned the screen.

I quickly became lost in pictures and words left by unseen and mostly unknown friends as they shared their experiences from around the world. Sitting there vicariously feeling the experiences of others I gradually became more aware of what was happening on the television beside me.

A local channel was airing an old made-for-television movie about a young woman soon to turn 30. She had returned to her childhood home feeling lost and unaccomplished. There she found both her former boyfriend and a list of 7 things she wanted to do before she turned 30 she had made as a teenager. It was a sappy chick-flick but it caught my attention. Eventually I shut the computer down and crawled into bed leaving the TV on until the movie ended.

My ADD had now kicked into high gear, and with the TV finally off I lay in the dark, contemplating all the stimuli of the day with little success in my attempt to digest and organize the many thoughts floating around and banging off the inner walls of my brain. At more than twice the age of the woman in the movie I questioned my life accomplishments or lack thereof. I thought of past girlfriends, lovers and wives. Yes, wives, I have had more than two, a record of which I am neither proud nor able to change.

There was Vicki, Carol and Judy and . . . ? There was one I could remember in detail except for her name. The first girl, no woman, I had known in more than a Clintonian way. She had been a major part of my life, and yet I was unable to remember her name. I could remember her father’s name. Why was he more memorable than she?

I lay sleepless in the dark contemplating my past and all the “what ifs?” What did it matter? The past can’t be changed. Thoughts of my life and bits of the movie continued to appear and disappear and mingle in my growing state of semi-consciousness.

A line from the movie kept returning to my mind, “If I didn’t hate you right now, I’d probably like you,” although I believe it irrelevant to the rest of my thoughts.

I just remembered her name.

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Text and image copyright 2010 Dave Michael.  No portion of this article may be reproduced without permission of the author.

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2 Responses to “4:27 a.m. – View From My Pillow”

  1. Lee Delamater Says:

    Intriguing story….I could certainly relate to your states of consciousness, as you described them. Especially the state of trying to walk through my place in a seemingly drunken state. And of course the dim lights of night which illuminate and give some small measure of direction, time, and orientation could be a universal experience. Thanks for sharing this personal, well written, and memorable piece.

  2. Dave Michael Says:

    Thanks Lee, the picture was actually made with my head on the pillow where it might be as I sleep and the illumination, or lack thereof, is as it is when I go to bed.

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