I cannot sleep tonight, the man in the moon is wanting to talk, and I am obliged to listen. He has questions and I fumble with the answers in my head, not that I don’t know them, just at this time of the morning, I am having a hard time processing. He wants to know about things, the things of the day, which reminds me of things of the past, which catapult me into the frenzy of the future. Back and forth like a tennis match between emotion and reality, the thoughts will come and go, get substituted with new ones, and finally all disappear like darkness when you flip on the switch.
The man in the moon is confused, and I suppose I don’t blame him. I wish I had the answers to all the questions going through my head, but I don’t, and if I did, I probably wouldn’t be up, trying to discuss them with my friend. I will just lay in the darkness, stare out the window and think about not thinking. I will listen to his questions and comments, and then I will process them like I am taking some kind of exam, the kind that will perhaps allow me to tumble back into sleep if I were to pass.
My mind spins. The questions come and go, almost like a rapid fire interrogation of a crime I did not commit, but perhaps I am starting to believe I did. What are we going to do tomorrow? What will we have for lunch? Oh shit, we didn’t read enough today, we should double up on that tomorrow, but if we do, will he become disinterested and refuse to read at all? Where did I put the sunscreen, we need more sunscreen? But didn’t I read somewhere that sunscreen could be bad for you? I should look that up right now, oh, but I shouldn’t, because the blue light will cause me to not fall back asleep, but I am already awake, and if I don’t answer this question, I won’t sleep anyway, so what the hell, just look it up already. Oh, this looks interesting.
Do I need to buy milk?
I think the man in the moon is one part amused with all the questions and one part concerned. I would be. I am not a crazy man, but at this time of the day, I am starting to not only play the part, I am gaining Oscar buzz.
My sheets and I perform a wonderful dance. I take the lead. We roll from one side to the other, scooting up and down, trying to find the best spot to not sleep. My bed might as well be a therapist’s couch. I visit old childhood memories and somehow tie them with the reason man should visit the moon again. I think about all the things.
I will think about her.
My bed has now become a place I should not be, but I need to be if sleep were to arrive. I travel to the kitchen, wishfully thinking that a magic potion from the sink will somehow drive me back to slumber. It doesn’t.
I am confused. I don’t understand why two people can see the same thing and be in complete disagreement of what it is they are seeing. I don’t understand why one’s fear of being wrong will justify their force to prove themselves right. Are we so fragile in mind that if your team wins, you feel better than me? Do you need that power over me? Do we not realize that the hand that feeds you may be from the arm you are chopping off? I wonder if Ishmael was right, with gorilla gone, will there be hope for man?
The man in the moon begins to laugh, he jostles the trees outside my window and whistles me a lullaby. He is amused by us humans and our tales. He reminds me to be still, and listen to him now for a while. He tells me to breathe, to bring in all the oxygen I can, and while it is in my lungs, attach the questions to it, attach the worries. Breath out, let out, get it out. All of it. The questions that I have in my head now belong to the night, and there is enough space between the man in the moon and I for the questions and the worries to get lost, diluted, freed.
My brain is now able to rest, the thoughts gone, for now at least. Tomorrow will bring me a new set of questions and memories that I will store up for the next time I have a visit with the man in the moon. I will still lay there for a while, chatting with my friend in the moon. We will talk about the silly things little boys do. I will talk to him about how I was obsessed with riding a bike like Jack is now, and how he is so much more brave than I ever was. We talk about love, the loss of it and the pain that ensues. We talk about love, and the finding of it, and the healing it can cause.
I hear the alarm go off. He tricked me, my friend in the moon. He tricked me into sleep. But here I am, back to the living world, but I am happy to be of this one, the one that will bring me new memories in just a matter of hours. It is still dark enough outside that I try to say goodbye to my friend, but he has moved on to chat with someone else. I will see him again, but I will not know when our next visit will be. He will come to me when I have questions and cannot sleep, and I know he will be more than happy to sit and listen. But for now, he is gone, and I will miss him, but in the meantime, I must remember to release the thoughts, attach them to breathe, and just exhale.