3am

This is another part of another story.  It needs some work, but I like it at its core.

On this particular night, it was 2am and I was reading, hoping to fall asleep sometime before the sun came up.  My phone rang and I saw that Taylor was calling.  A 2am phone call didn’t frighten or surprise me, these were our waking hours, this was when we thrived.  I answered to an immediate, “I’m bored.” And responded in kind, “me too, I’m just reading as usual.”  She immediately responded with, “Let’s do something, come pick me up.”  Again, this didn’t surprise me.  To most people, the world had turned itself off for the night, but to us, the possibilities were endless, even in our small town.  “What are we going to do?” I asked, mostly because I had to.  I didn’t really care what the answer was, I was ready for adventure as much as she was.  “No idea.”  She answered typically.  “Okay, I’ll be there soon.” 

I got out of my pajamas and put on the only outfit that could translate into appropriate attire for any situation we would find ourselves in.  Tight jeans and a fitted t-shirt.  I grabbed a cardigan and my purse and after touching up my make up, I headed to my car. 

Twenty minutes later we were in my car with no destination.  Nothing was open, we couldn’t go to a bar, and we weren’t nearly popular enough to know of people throwing any sort of party, so we drove around to contemplate what could entertain us until we might finally be able to let go enough to sleep.  After mild contemplation we decided to go to the casino with what little money we had, even though it was over an hour drive away.  We stopped at a coffee shop and grabbed hot drinks for the drive and got on the highway.  We knew it was silly to go so far, so late, but we had no responsibility and rampant insomnia, so on we went.

The drive there was almost always the best part, we got to talk about life, and what was bothering us, and there was always, always a lot to say.  That night our focus, once more, was on our minds.  It seemed selfish and egotistical, but it was the only way we knew how to work out the emotions we didn’t understand.  We talked of nothing but ourselves and the inner workings of our minds.

“I had the strangest dream this afternoon,” Taylor said, “I was giving a presentation and all my teeth started falling out.  That means something doesn’t it?  Losing your teeth?  It probably means death.”

“Knowing your luck, you’re right, but I think in dreams, death means change, so maybe that’s a good thing.”

“Teeth falling out can’t mean change.  That doesn’t even make sense.  Maybe it just means I’m incredibly vain.”

“Well your dreams got that one right.”

“Haha.” She forcefully laughed

“I had another hi-def nightmare, but this time I was the murderer, killing off my friends, who were strangers, one by one.  That has to mean death.”

“I’m pretty sure all your dreams about killing people mean death, it’s all you think about Jane.”

“No shit.  That can’t be healthy.”

“It could be worse, you could be killing people while your teeth were falling out.  Now that’s a nightmare.”

“I think we have different views on what is terrifying in this world.”  I responded.

Taylor, getting serious, replied, “that much is obvious.  Dying terrifies you, obviously, without a doubt, one hundred percent.  I think living scares me more.  I think I’m fucking it up, doing it all wrong.  And sometimes that terrifies me, and sometimes I find it hilarious.  I don’t think that’s super healthy either.”

“Well, neither of us are obviously super healthy.  Mentally I mean.  I hope to God we are physically.  Oh shit.  Is He going to smite me for saying that?”

“You and your religious superstitions, now those are certainly not healthy.”

“We should make a list, top ten unhealthiest things about our lives.  Then we can work to make it better.”

“I think number one on that list should be deciding to drive an hour and a half to a casino at 3 oclock in the fucking morning.”

We finally got to the casino and started to feel the toll of the long drive and our dwindling energy.  We took our allotted money, just twenty dollars for me and considerably more for Taylor, and headed inside.  We both got glasses of coke to perk us up, and then started searching for the perfect machines.  I searched for one that had something to do with vampires or wizards, or anything in the current fantasy book I was reading.  I figured it might be good luck.  Again with my superstitions.  Taylor looked for one with the flashiest lights and the biggest jackpot, probably a more logical approach, if logic touches anything in a casino.  We sat down a few machines apart and began to silently waste our money.  Nothing much happened while we were there, I went through my twenty quickly, then I watched while Taylor won, then lost, then won, then lost until she was finally through her stash.  By the time we were ready to go home it was 5:30 in the morning and we were starting to feel like we might be able to sleep. 

“You’re not allowed to fall asleep on the ride home, no matter how tired you get, this was your idea.”  I say to Taylor once we’re back in the car.

“Okay, okay, I won’t.”

But I know within five minutes on the straight and dark highway I’ll be alone to my own thoughts once more, she never was one for long car rides.  I turned the music to a level that I could hear and enjoy without waking her, and thought about the night.  I only lost 20 dollars and a tank of gas but I felt much more empty.  I always hoped these outings would fill me up inside, make me feel alive and happy in a way I’ve only read about in one of my books, but I’m almost always let down and I suspect the same is true for Taylor.  We tried and hoped and failed at experiencing emotions other than dread and depression, and for a while, hours even, we keep it at bay, but the truth of it never leaves us. 

Soon I was back in my bed, back to chapter 20 something of whatever book I was reading, and slowly as the new day started to begin, my night time insomnia abated and finally allowed me some sleep, some rest from the day and it’s stifling emotions.

 

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About laurengowing

I read prose. I write prose. I don't really read poetry, but sometimes I write it.
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