Sleep

Adam Warren George
3 min readSep 4, 2023

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It wasn’t beyond him. The sky spanned clear to the horizon. He knew that one day, aging would be a thing of the past. He wasn’t sure if it would be in his lifetime. If he died, he did not know if he would live on in a different form.

He wanted to live.

Entering the supermarket always gave him a bit of a jolt. All the stimulus wasn’t overwhelming, but not necessarily nurturing in itself.

He felt a chill as he passed the milks on the back wall.

Almond Milk, he thought as he scanned the shelves. There were three different brands of almond milk.

He pushed his cart a little further, and grabbed some oat milk. The front left wheel of his cart was squeaking.

The beep at the checkout stand added to the erratic music in the market. His focus was softly on the end of the transaction where he swiped his card and said thank you.

The cashier continued scanning.

He was measuring his time there, like he measured it everywhere. Twenty minutes of his life spent in that store.

People were all around doing the same or similar thing. He wondered if they felt the pressure of time and aging the way he did.

The elders in his family all said that it goes by fast.

He grabbed his bags and put them back in the cart to push to his car.

If everything went to plan, he would age to about 80 or 90, and he would die. That reality lived heavy in his core.

He felt hopeless as he drove home.

His life wasn’t bad, but it was tinged with a sort of severity of knowing of your mortality, and not being able to shake that thought.

He was going to die.

The knife made a thwack with each chop as he diced vegetables for the fried rice. There was music playing, that kept time for him. When music was playing, the feeling wasn’t that bad.

He knew it was counterproductive to feel sad about dying while he was alive, but he couldn’t help himself sometimes. It was like a somber haze would settle over his mental vision, and tint everything with that dark amber hue that caused him to get stuck like a bug in sap.

The fried rice was good.

Bed time was his favorite time. Falling asleep felt comfortable, which he wasn’t while he was awake. He found bits here and there, but the majority of his waking hours came slow and melancholic. His bed brought him joy. A scarce feeling that he coveted.

He didn’t know why falling asleep brought him joy. When he thought about it, it didn’t make sense. You would think that something like painting, or writing, or woodworking would be what he looked forward to. He didn’t. It was the process of going to bed. It was safe and cozy, and he couldn’t mess anything up.

A psychiatrist would say he had generalized anxiety disorder. He knew the truth. Life in itself is insane, and if you can’t recognize that, you are insane. It is a miracle any of us function at all with the little we know.

The warm water poured over his head. He leaned into the wall letting it cascade down his back. He wasn’t thinking about the water bill. Or the fact that his hot water tank was at the end of his useful life. Or that he was in his thirties, in other words, a third of the way through. He’d get to do his time twice more, and the second time would likely be riddled with health issues.

He slept naked. The sheets felt soft as he slipped under the covers.

He was alone in his bed.

He fell asleep.

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Adam Warren George

I like to write, because I enjoy communicating what I experience. And I like to do it in creative ways, lyrical and poetic prose, not sticking to the path.