It’s getting dark outside, not completely dark but more like the last purple-orange bits of sunset dark, The kind of dark when people can start to see into your windows if you have the lights on.
Before I turn the lights on, I close the window blinds, carefully angling them downward so that people below (I’m on the second floor) can’t see in.
But before I close the shades, I take a moment to look at the colorful panorama. I can’t look for too long lest I feel deep sadness at not taking advantage of the beauty here, of closing the world out when the sun goes down.
So I glance around at the sky and the silhouette of the building across from me against the pink-purple-orange, then twist the lucite stick that closes me in. I tell myself that when I move to my long-term place things will be different. Then I will sit on my terrace sipping aguas frescas and breathe deeply of the twilight.
But for now there is no twilight terrace, no sipping of aguas frescas, and I must close the blinds.
Only after the blinds are safely twisted to the closed position do I turn on a light.
Now I apportion pills into a waiting mug on the table. The mug is made of white pottery with blue designs painted on it. It’s probably handmade. There’s a whole set of them here.
Melatonin for sleep. L-theanine to rest my brain. 500 milligrams of magnesium to relax the muscles. A Biotin tablet, because it’s chewable and tastes like fruit. I save that for last, a treat.
It takes about two hours for the melatonin to start to kick in.
Now I count the hours.
Sometimes I’ve already chosen a movie to watch. Movies mostly last about two hours. I bought a collection of Wes Anderson movies and there’s one I’ve yet to watch. Over the weekend I rented a movie for 99 cents. I have some comfort movies too, Enchanted April and Sense and Sensibility, but sometimes the familiarity just feels too sad.
Sometimes at 8:00 pm everything feels too sad.
I don’t know why I think that at 8:00 pm I only have two hours to fill. Too many nights I toss and turn, reading from my phone’s library app, until 3:00 or even 4:00 am. Those are the nights I wonder if I will ever sleep again.
I debate when to shower. 8:00 feels too early to change into jammies, but then again, why not? But if I wait until 10:00 I’m afraid the shower will wake me and keep me from sleeping, so if I’ve put it off until then I decide I should just wait until morning.
Sometimes those intended morning showers turn into the next night showers, or even the day after that showers. Who really cares, anyway? I don’t go anywhere or see anyone.
All the hours earlier in the day are spent waiting until 8:00, waiting until I can start my night, waiting until I can start the ritual that eventually leads to sleep, to oblivion. Right now I have 5 and a half more hours to go until 8:00 pm.