I usually doze off with a book i’ve read a thousand times before; easy and familiar, in my hand. Slipping from my hand as I lose consciousness, startling me from my near brush with sleep. I stretch for the light switch and plunge myself into the darkness; resting easily on my right side. Then the oppressiveness comes. The invisible weight of life, responsibility and loneliness slowly settles in. The house is empty save for myself, it isn’t big but feels cavernous in the night, like an abyss that would create an echo if I had the courage to call out. I begin to wonder how much longer I can hold out and whether I even should at times. It is an opportune time for fear to make its presence known, just as you try to escape reality until the light of day allows you some reprieve. Winter nights are especially inescapable. Everything is closed, the world at rest and the cold keeps you trapped inside this thing you most despise. The whispers begin: “you don’t deserve this”, “it doesn’t belong to you” “it is all a lie”. I’m jarred awake by these thoughts, they come between me and the covers like a thin cold ghost; a second skin called doubt. Staring wide eyed into the dark searching for answers, wondering where it went wrong. The ghost doesn’t stay long, its presence floats off as my eyes grow heavy. It is a brief but powerful encounter.
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