I put my iPhone on airplane mode, alarm set for 6.15, computers out of sight, cup of camomile tea done, lights out.
It was probably a hundred and fifty seconds later since my head finally took its lay to rest on what has become a mountain of pillows to help my sleep apnea, spooned by ‘nkem’, his hand strung across my torso holding tight as if he was scared of letting me go even in sleep. I smiled. It was endearing. I lift his deadweight hand from my waist and place his fingers firmly on my right breast.
My eyes wide open to the dark grey night, scanty leaves on trees in heights swooning in rhythmic waves to the response of the winds, a reminder that Spring is nigh. A plane in sight perfectly positioned between the nighttime cloud and skies, illuminated by safety lights indicating per second, warning for motion until it fades away into the clouds towards its fly path, far out of sight. I wondered where it’s final destination was. A continent or a world far away from my bed? I thought. A moon crescent in sight, rotating westerly from the window.
The only lights in the neighborhood illuminating from two windows of the building east of my bedroom between the woods. ‘Nkem’s’ breathing heaving with a very light snore which suggests he has now travelled deep into a sleep trajectory onto the morning. I take a very deep breath into my lungs.
Lights from those windows suddenly go off indicating the owners have gone to bed, dancing off the night. And with all nocturnal activities at heights settling and a few stars in the sky left as it began to darken, I begin to wonder and wander into dark thoughts, some of which include my profound pain and mortality - a life of what I aspire but can’t reach, a lingering sense of devastation of the possibility of suddenly losing my sight after I hadn’t done myself justice an hour ago listening to the words of my medical retina consultant which I recorded on my iPhone in my last clinic.
I wondered about my hip replacement surgery, my supernumerary tooth which requires surgery. I wondered about my sleep apnea which has been self diagnosed and the fear of being clinically diagnosed wasn’t welcoming.
I didn’t need more of this shit from my body. All they do is fix me like a broken digital appliance until I break again. I sigh My mind travels to words of my Pa, my sister and ‘Nkem’ saying “everything will be fine” and I don’t think it will. I think about the sudden longing to be with my wider family soon. My mind travels back to last May in New York having being blue lighted from Warwick Hotel 5th Avenue to Mount Sinai 7th Avenue, in the most excruciating pain I have ever experienced- after 24hrs , I self discharged , signed my death sentence, and boarded a plane back to London on an 8hour flight with acute labored breathing. After touch down, I am blue lighted once again to intensive care with a lingered life threatening crisis into June.
A relegated sense of trauma fills my heart- of how I travel with pain from city to city, continent to continent, fighting an overwhelming sense of fear of my own mortality. I sigh at how I had moved from my natural state of peace to an unfound place of darkness and suffering.
As I ease out into faded depth of feelings, the midnight central line goes past and the sounds coming from the front room, now awakens my sense of oblivion to the fact that I have to sleep.
The alarm goes off at 5.45 and I would find I am back in the tragic pattern of waking early into an abyss of fatigue, my head not right. My body weak and I would have to gather my broken bones, sick body, weak legs, my wounded heart and my shades of pain into something called work which at the moment doesn’t work. But I will need to act normal and essentially smile often to hide behind the facade that all is well and I am up to this. Because I have normalized this shit. That rude awakening sends me to seek peace from a source internal to my core, badge these intricacies into a luxury of hope and tell myself to sleep, sleep June baby, sleep.
My eyes wide shut with hopes that I have one other opportunity to wake up the following morning to see my ‘Nkem’, next to me, someone I love very much and hope I can stick around longer for.