This is what happens at night:
1. I stare at nothing
2. I cry sporadically, little individual tears. The big ones are all used up.
3. I startle at small noises and turn, wondering...
4. I read books three pages at a time. In between, see #1.
5. I keep the lights on.
Darkness has always had some sort of hold over me. I'm afraid of my imagination, of my nascent thoughts being brought alive. I'm afraid of the emptiness, the slight whirring of the fan, the chirping crickets -- all the little sounds that highlight how quiet it is, how empty the darkness, how easily it could swallow me up.
These days I'm afraid of the what ifs. I'm afraid of examining every action from every angle, every minute and hour back to the start, and wondering, what did I do wrong? I know that there's no point to this any more. I know that it's not exactly my fault. But my brain wants to do it, and I want to stop it.
These days I'm afraid of the pictures in my mind that come up when I try not to think of them. How damn hard it was to say goodbye, how hard it was to leave that room. The cool skin of your hand. The-
I'm afraid of remembering what it felt like to be tossed in a flipping car, waiting helplessly for the final smash that would end everything. I'm afraid of remembering the grey emptiness and the quiet but angry resignation I heard in my mind then: Maybe this is it.
It feels like just a small hit could break me, but the blows keep coming. Little fucking rodent blows, wearing me down. But I get to choose what breaks me, and this is not it.
And finally, my hand. The new swelling is worrying me. How far can this go? I've seen it before. How much can I cope with? I don't want to find out.