a real life barbie-turate doll

I have never been able to sleep well and it has only gotten worse now that I am an adult with real problems. The only thing that ever worked to counteract my insomnia has been drinking, primarily hard liquor, and now, I am not only generally exhausted, but also tired of being hungover, the stomach issues, and inherently feeling as if I am a barbarian because I have to get wasted to fall asleep. 

One week, I decided to cut it out: I had one or two beers before bed, which I consider to be a responsible amount of intake… You see, I did not want to quit drinking; there’s nothing sadder than a reformed drunk, my mother always said (…and probably regrets it, now). 

Because I cannot win or do anything to better my physical or mental health without repercussions, I still could not sleep: I developed a rash from using fabric softener that made my clothes smell like a fresh spring meadow instead of cigarettes and tacos, so I laid there for hours, itching and fretting over who this boy could be talking to that made for better conversation than myself; after four months of him being the highlight of my days, I was not surprised by his sudden, unexplained absence, but disappointed that I did not plan ahead for his inevitable disappearance; I itched and rolled onto my side, thinking that I should not have allowed vodka and a jackass to be the only thing I looked forward to in life; I itched and rolled onto my back, thinking that I should have gone to college so I did not work such a strenuous job; I itched and rolled onto my other side, thinking that I should start posting naked pictures of myself to bump up my book sales; I itched and rolled onto my stomach, wondering what I had done to deserve not being able to fucking sleep

When hour four of my itchy-scratchy-pity-party started to creep up, I thought, you know what? If this is what it is to be “normal,” then I will welcome it! I’m fine! Maybe Normal People™ can’t sleep, either, and just lie about it… I’ve always thought they were just clinging to a facade, right? This is why I have Adderall! Normal People™ totally rely on prescription drugs to function, too; that’s why I used to buy them off of weirdos!

 Approaching hour six, I decided that was bullshit — everything was bullshit — and I mistook delirium from exhaustion as having my very first positive mindstate. Repeating a mantra about how I was fine would never be enough to make it true, and if I could not sleep, I decided I would kill myself; lost in a fantasy of eternal rest, I finally passed out and woke up to being called in on my only day off to have a shitty afternoon at work. 

My coworker asked, “How’s the no-hard-liquor thing going? Feelin’ any better?” 

He smiled and gave me a thumbs up. 

“It went.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?” 

His smile started to fade and he put his thumb back down. 

“It means I left twenty minutes early today to stop and get a bottle of Tito’s because I just might disintegrate if I don’t get any sleep tonight.” 

My compromise was that I would have some self control, limit my intake; the only reason why I wasn’t able to do so in the past is because I wanted to chug the shit: it helped me sleep, and I just wanted to sleep! Everything would be so much better if I could sleep! I could sleep without downing half the bottle! A shot would knock me out… a nice, heavily poured shot! I would have one a night! That was the plan, that was the cure! 

….Alas, as I was unlocking my front door, I dropped the bottle and it shattered down my concrete stairs. I had the worst alcoholic-induced tizzy that my mother has probably witnessed since my father’s final departure from our home in 2006. 

She heard the commotion and opened the front door to me sitting on a step, picking up broken glass and sobbing. 

“Fuckin’ Christ, Rose. Don’t touch that with your bare hands. Let me get a broom.”

“I didn’t even want it. I don’t ever want it. I just can’t fucking sleep and everyday is so bad. I can’t be here anymore if I don’t sleep.” 

“…Do you need me to go get you another bottle?”

Ashamed enough, I just cried harder, and as I drove myself to buy a new bottle, I decided that there is something sadder than a reformed drunk: Me. 

I also decided to give sleeping pills a try, and that’s when funny things started happening to me. 

(The most hilarious side-effect of sleeping pills is that I actually get rest instead of doing 360 degree turns and scratching myself raw until I deem it an appropriate hour to quit pretending and get out of bed; sometimes, I’d even stretch to make it believable and get a charlie horse because you can’t be a drunk and properly hydrated enough to prevent muscle atrophy… Who would’ve thought?)

I had a nightmare where a boy rejected me, sparing no harsh criticism and leaving no rickety, dilapidated, pitiful bridge for us to return to each other through later; in real life, we always returned to each other. The cadence, word choice, and sentence structure of his dialogue was so vividly true to character that I confronted him the next day when he tried to spark up a conversation with me (in this reality), as if he hadn’t broken my heart (in an alternate reality that it is frowned upon to acknowledge exists; you look like the person who chats loudly with themselves at the grocery store). Thankfully, he once had a mental episode where he believed he was Jesus Christ reincarnated, and after announcing this revelation in a febrile speech to a decent sized crowd of his adoring fans, was temporarily housed with two psychologists for constant monitoring, and advised against smoking weed for it brings out his “schizophrenic tendencies”… If I was going to make a drug-induced blunder with any man, he was an experienced and understanding candidate. 

Another night, I ate a full loaf of overdone french bread and woke up with another full-body rash from laying in its scattered, sharp crumbs. I hallucinated that I went downstairs for a glass of water, noticed that someone left my back-door unlocked and the porch light on, went to correct the errors, but I wasn’t fast enough: two masked attackers were taking advantage of our carelessness and vastly approaching with weapons to take my anal virginity. I woke up in a panic, went downstairs to ensure that there were no fatal errors to correct, noticed that someone did leave my back-door unlocked and the porch light on, shrugged, and went back to bed. (I still don’t have an explanation for this one.)  

Recently, I woke up at around 6am to see a text from a boy — the same one who knows he is Jesus Christ in my eyes and for that, does not have the heart to send me away in this dimension. It read: “AHHH! THE GIRL UNDER HIS BED IS SO SCARY!” 

…Now, my reading comprehension skills abandoning me at prime, inconvenient moments, as if I do not dedicate hours a day to exercising them, has primely inconvenienced me over the past few years, but with my brain heavy from alcohol and barbiturates, I at least had an excuse for interpreting this text message as, “AHH! THERE IS A SCARY GIRL UNDER MY BED!”; I especially had an excuse for responding with, “GET YOUR GUN AND GET OUT OF THE HOUSE!” and then snuggling back up with my pillow and my puppy to continue my peaceful slumber, hopefully dreaming of me and that boy having nasty enough sex for me to get rugburn on my knees. Who cares if some abominable, possessed, murderous woman killed him in this universe? I was sure-as-shit in a different one! 

(Plus, I would undeniably shoot my hand over my heart, gasp, and tear up from the supreme flattery of him texting me, out of anybody, while in immediate danger. I would pen a twelve page essay dissecting the potential meaning behind him thinking of me in what could have been his final moments, leading up to the conclusion that I was right all along: He is madly in love with me…  or was, maybe — he claims to have terrible aim with his gun, and what if this intruder was not a demon, but someone highly under the influence of drugs? Bullets don’t always bring them down.) 

None of this takes away from the inarguable tenet that if this man hits me, his drunk friend who takes sleeping pills and lives on the other side of the country, up during a late-night emergency, he deserves to die for being a goddamn fool. His shrewdness and 1/4th minority blood would keep him alive til about halfway through a horror movie; he’s beautiful, not in the classic way that secures a death sentence for a character, but probably lacks any survival skills… I don’t even think he’s ever gone camping. 

Anyway, because you can read — and I love that you read, there is no better way to exercise your brain and garner all the power in the world — and I am very thankful that you chose to read me, out of all of the wordsmiths to ever grace a page, you are keeping me alive — you already know that there was no succubus, escaped insane asylum inmate, or someone who was bored enough to give PCP a try hiding under his bed, waiting to strike while he was streaming porn and vulnerable: This motherfucker was just watching the show Hannibal and texting me about it at 6am, 3am for him… 3000 miles away, right? Time difference. You remember. You read. Thanks again. The end. 

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