Sleepless in San Diego

by Cami Buckman, Contributor

It’s 3 a.m. and I’m not asleep.

All the sheep have been counted, and all the street lights are buzzing. The darkness of my bedroom ceiling continues to be, well, dark. While I know that the coat hanging in my closet isn’t a serial killer, I can’t help but see a menacing shape staring back at me, waiting for me to finally close my eyes. I’m scared.

Scared of what? The dark? Monsters? My thoughts? Ah, there it is! You can’t run from the absurd thoughts that haunt you when it’s 3 a.m. and you have nothing else to do but think. Think, think, think.


I can feel the thoughts rushing in. How can a room so dark be painted with so many colorful thoughts?


What is life? No really, why are we here? Why am I here laying in this bed? Who am I really? I have a past, but I can only think of now. Time. Time baffles me. For some reason God, or who knows what, put me here to take value in this moment. There has to be something bigger than all of this. My eyelids are burning.


Did I lock the front door? I’m sure I did. Yes, I remember locking it. Or did I? Did I imagine that? Screw it! If a murderer is going to come in through the front door tonight I guess it’s just my time to go. Goodbye world!


Murderers. Now I’m imagining Detectives Elliot Stabler and Olivia Benson from “Law and Order: SVU” busting through my bedroom door to save me from the psychopathic serial killer that has kidnapped me. Don’t act like you’ve never imagined yourself in an Emmy award-winning crime drama. The setting is classic: It’s a cloudy night, and you’ve just about given up on the distant hope of being rescued from Ted Bundy’s basement (let’s just call this serial killer Ted Bundy). Then, a crashing noise interrupts the engulfing silence and detectives Elliot and Benson are there to rescue you! As you’re being carried away to the safety of the ambulance awaiting you, it begins to rain. Rain, rain, rain, umbrella ella-


-umberella ella ella hey hey hey hey hey hey. Now I can’t stop replaying this stupidly catchy Rihanna song in my mind—ella ella ella hey hey hey— Great.


I really want to fade away into unconsciousness. I read an article once that said taking deep breathes for about ten seconds will make you fall asleep. I’ll try anything at this point. Inhale. One, two, three, four, five. Exhale. One, two, three, four, five. Six. Now hold my breath for one, two, three (wow, this is hard).  Four (OK, I need to breath)  Five—I give up. Typically, I enjoy breathing. Maybe I’ll switch pillows, maybe that will do something.


Is there something wrong with me? I can’t be the only one who has these completely scattered and absurd thoughts; I can’t be the only one who feels so small. How can I be content and with the normalcy of unconsciousness? I spend an entire day in motion, looking, sensing, feeling, living, only to slip away into an erasable blackness for eight hours every night? What happens in this vibrating mind of mine that I can’t remember? So many questions, questions, questions and no voice to answer them. It’s not the sleep that I crave, it’s the answer. It’s the voice. All I want is someone beside me to stare at my darkness and listen to my silence.


I’m alone