It's in darkness that...

It's not often that I'm the last one to sleep.

A particular dread sinks in when that happens, though.

It's quiet. It's quiet, save for the whir of the electric fan.

It's dark. It's dark, save for that little snatch of light from the outside barely making it through the vents.

It's still.

I never really needed a night light. I could sleep in the dark just fine. Then again, I have not slept in the absolute dark. When the power is out, I open a door. Somehow the night sky compensates by revealing its true self, by turning a shade of blue, and that's what barely makes it through the vent, and now, the open door.

Yet, right now, it doesn't seem to work as well.

I lie down in almost complete darkness and I, involuntary, think of things, unsavory or otherwise. Lately it drifts towards the former. There's me, slashing my wrists before taking a long nap, getting my skin whitened and my sheets stained in the process. Nobody will know until the next morning, or the next afternoon.

Then, will I ever have the strength to slash my wrists?

For most of my life I have been alone. I have never wanted to be alone, but it is in that state when I find some peace within myself, at least momentarily. I type out something on my laptop and everything goes flowing through, uninterrupted, and yet it all makes sense. I read a book on my bed - lights on - and I realize things I never thought of before.

And yet you realize that you're really alone, and you come clobbering back to something that resembles the opposite, and then you remember that you never really quite knew what that opposite is.

I have the radio on all night now, when I sleep. Even if all the lights are off, I know I'm not completely alone. Someone, out there, in some studio a bunch of time zones away, is talking to me, sticking it out with me as I drift in and out of sleep.

You, however, never liked the radio on.

"I like absolute quiet," you said to me, and yet you suck that in and let me leave the radio on as we snuggled in bed.

I find a compromise. I turn the volume down low. I turn the volume down low, low enough for me to hear but faint enough for me not to hear. And then I turn to you. And then I wrap my arms around you.

One of these days, perhaps, I'll learn.

And your responses...

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