Torturing Sleep

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


I often wake in the middle of the night, once, twice, three times, glance bleary-eyed at the clock, always ten minutes fast, now an hour ahead, make the obligatory trip to the bathroom, and ease into bed knowing it’s all over. The party of those card-carrying demons of my mind’s club is in full swing, and they always invite me. I’m the entertainment, the gawky dancer everyone snipes at, safe in their cliques, the piñata they take turns smashing, letting every regret I’ve ever had spill out on the floor. It’s a tacky kind of hell. I watch the film in my mind reverse, the pieces fly back into the reconstituted piñata and it all happens again. A neurotic ground-hog night for day. At least I rotate the people and their insults, their transgressions, my inadequacies, varying the decades. Always nice to have variety in one’s personal torture regime. This insomniac pastime is one reason not to take Defoe’s Journal of the Plague Year to bed. The plague house of my mind is crowded enough as it is.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145
Number of pages1
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Literary work
  • Pandemic
  • mental health


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