Tossing. Turning. Sleep has left me standing at the altar and looking over my shoulder, wondering if it might burst through the door in that final minute. Right before the daylight apologizes in its saintly, condescending tone, and dismisses everyone from their pew. I would be relieved, certainly. But still angry it left me standing in wait in this stupid dress and heels. This is no way to begin a lifetime commitment.
My bed becomes uncomfortable. Like the fingers of small children are poking up through the mattress, taunting me to rise up and play. Nothing feels familiar in my private sanctuary of slumber. The walls move in and out with the rhythm of my rising and falling chest, squeezing me, and bringing my thoughts in too close.
Eventually and begrudgingly I stand. Fumbling in the darkness for any landmark of certainty to steady my gait, I drag my bones filled with lead to the stairs. First my left foot, weighing heavy like an anchor, then my right. Climbing what must be Jacob's ladder, I drag myself to the final step, unlock the bolts that separate me from reality, and throw open the door.
The night air is heavy laden with the Moon's perspiration and chilled, as if Death has waved His hand in a curse. The street light bounces its rays to and fro in the mist, faintly calling out, "I'm here. Come look for me." I stare upward into the sky, past the haze of artificial light, focusing like a lost sailor in search of land. I am a castaway in the night, searching for a flicker of hope. Searching for a flicker of "home".
In the far off distance, I hear the train shouting her warning to anyone who dares to stand on her tracks in the darkness. But my eyes command my brain to disregard my other senses, shut down my ears, and search. Casting my vision into the blackness, I feel the tug of muscles widening my pupils, as if pulling cords through rusted wheels to draw back heavy drapery.
The black curtains are finally drawn and She presents Herself. Timid at first, then boldly, the Moon shines upon the solar stage in all Her glory. It is Her time to tell Her story, to act out all the parts in the scene. So few purchase a ticket to this performance, and most that have, never returned from intermission or have vacated their seats early and left the theater.
But in the hours I should be sleeping, I am mesmerized by the Moon's performance. She is brilliant and shining brighter than any star. I applaud Her in the silence of my mind. "Bravo", I say to no one who can hear me. "Bravo".
In this moment, I am glad to have been jilted at the altar by sleep. When daylight arrives, I will deal with its incessant, friendly chatter. But for now, I am comforted with peaceful exhaustion. I have been witness to the performance of a lifetime, which few dare to pay the price of admission.