matt pond PA

January 30, 2018

Felt. Or Cheap Minkowski Space For Rent.

It is 5am — writing these words in my head as a future message to myself. (Don’t worry. There won’t be any space-time continuum shifts due to my temporal improvisations. It’s only a pantomime. One scruffy harlequin, fully adorned and annoyingly silent beneath the Bois de Boulogne pines.)

Eyes pinned closed as I stare down the under-lids. Like undulant green-black felt, a gentle distortion. Some seconds of red, a trace of white. It is the wall I build to contain myself every night. Redolent, calming.

Honestly, the felt curtain underneath my eyes isn’t calming. Actually, the cloth has been waving anxiously since the early, blue hits. New babysitter, first day of school, dentists, step-families, more step-families, scuba diving, stranger danger, poorly maintained public address systems on stages run by disenchanted sound engineers, video shoots, dates, loneliness, laugh-a-thon.

(I smile and mouth laugh-a-thon to myself because I actually mean it. To be honest, the worst curtains were lifted after the darkest knights — the quest itself is the destination, the struggle is sexy, the blindness is vision. Let’s risk again.)

Sleep will not take me! Over and over, I’m a shuffling horizontal explorer, slowly falling through dank space and time.

Eyes are open. There’s only the green light of the humidifier in my humming room. Viridescent moisture and a white noise machine to guide me in my slumberous capsule-castle.

Back to the Pink Floyd black light poster from high school, the glow-in-the-dark paint that made my personal universe come to life. Falling asleep, unselfconscious, laughing at how stupidly cool it all looked. As if a freakish blast of wind had ripped the house from the foundation — orphaned and fictionally brave beneath a world of my own creation. The brilliant stars and faces above me in that distant dank basement.

From 5am til 8am, I’m wide awake. I consider reading the splayed book on the sheets next to my cheek. I consider picking up the guitar. I consider the phone, mulling the screen-stutter of news, the social slide shows, the acquiescent fall of humanity heralded by electronic confetti. I replay all my worst moments, re-arguing cases of twisted personal principle with friends that don’t exist in reality. I ponder running these words up a muddy mid-winter hill, shouting and disheveled, finally allowing me to unwrap the unfolding mystery of my faithful insomnia. Shouty.