Not being able to fall asleep at midnight heightened my senses. The cold sheets against bare skin. The weight of the duvet – made me feel secure. Lights from apartments still awake, the city that never sleeps. The wheezing of the air conditioning working tirelessly in an endless battle against the humidity. My sore muscles from my gym workout earlier in the day protested with every restless toss and turn. My mind, wandering – why couldn’t I fall asleep? Was it the caffeine? But my last cup of coffee was at 11 am. Was it the caffeine from the Kombucha? Maybe, but barely. Was it the hunger that I felt gnawing at my stomach? What should I eat for breakfast tomorrow?
I closed my eyes and counted to 100. I was still awake. Another 100. Nope, still lying in the dark. I hear the occasional buzz of my phone going off from nocturnal friends. In contrary to silence being the absence of sound, not being able to fall asleep came with buzzy sounds. The more I tried to force myself to sleep, the more I paid attention to these noises. I got frustrated.
I got up, with my duvet and bolster in hand, marched into my mother’s room. The lights were still on and I could hear my mother’s slow deep breaths, she was fast asleep. An open book beside her, she probably fell asleep reading. As I plopped myself beside her, I found comfort at the age of 21, battling a sleepless night.