he awakens cold and wet in the pink recliner facing the television. he stares at the ceiling, regaining feeling in his sweat-soaked skin. his dreams had been of her.
it’s 10 pm and he doesn’t feel like sleeping again- not just yet. he opens his laptop and his face is illuminated by the soft blue glow. the computer stirs, kicks, breathes. the lights strung across the windowtop blink mindlessly, keeping time with his heartbeat.
the light patter of keys rebounds against the walls of the living room. his eyes jump with amphetaminic frenzy around the bitmap, reading, gathering, ignoring, internalizing. what good is a body in the abyss of pixels and microprocessors? what defines the soul amidst the countless faces staring back at you in your reclining chair?
he settles into his muscles’ least-impactful position; the left hand props his head up while his right navigates the trackpad. the silence is intermittently filled by his sentences of key-tapping and punctuated by the click of the mouse. the light from the street juts awkwardly through the window, landing somewhere on the ceiling. a car beeps impatiently down the block, the floorboards sigh as they settle.
and he keeps on for hours, making sure not to entertain the dreams that wretched him awake and panting. his sub-conscious should have known better. his waking consciousness will correct the error. delete. delete. delete. delete. delete.
soon he will grow tired again. soon he will pull his eyes away from the screen, pry his hand from the trackpad and force his body into bed. soon he will close his eyes, soon he will fall asleep. and then and only then will he dream. dream of her, of them, of all of that. he’ll dream and be free.