February 6, 2006
I reach over to the lamp. My finger pauses on the switch. On or off? I forget now. I stare intently at the light, its yellowish-orange glow searing my eyeballs to the back of their sockets. Finally, a pulse in my trigger finger decides for me. I flick the lamp off, which leaves a black echo of shadows assaulting my line of vision.
Curled up in bed, I visualize the most beautiful butterfly imaginable – a soaring, magnificent flying acrobat, its gold-speckled wings fluttering so quickly you can barely see the path of its flight. Come back, I plead silently. A hush falls over an agitated whisper in my mind, as the winged beauty returns and lands in my heart for one more precious moment of solace. But almost as quickly, it takes flight again, disappearing into thin air. Off on another sacred mission, I muse. There are, after all, many walking wounded.
“Lizzie! What’s with the butterfly in the heart shit?” Klunk! I clutch my head. Instant pain. The agitated whisper from within has erupted, a piercing voice that shatters any illusion I had of a peace treaty. I sigh, roll onto my back, and grab the remote to the ipod, hoping to calm the sarcastic voice inside my head. If I don’t, I’ll be awake most of the night. I go through twenty songs before I hit on the right one and the voice fades. “Angel” sung by Sarah McLachlan does its job quickly. I fall into a restful, dreamless sleep. Thank you, Sarah.
Doesn't always work, though. Sometimes, I scroll through a hundred songs, over and over, and never find one. Then, out of sheer exhaustion, I doze off to a bloody nightmare of grotesque images from the past. Has this ever happened to you?
Sucks, doesn’t it?