POETICA Feature: “Monster”


(Written on 7/14/11)

Countless seconds, minutes, hours slowly pass by leaving me somewhat paralyzed in a plane not visible to most people.
I’ve tried to imagine all of this in my mind like a horrible virus digging inside each and every brain cell—clawing, scraping, then eventually intruding to the core.
Mentally I fight back, willing myself to quiet the endless panicked loops, but it’s as if those anxious swirling thoughts have a mind of their own—resisting, fighting back against me, declaring war.
My body tires, exhaustion washes over my mind like a tidal wave of hopelessness, but it still isn’t enough to enter a restful state.
When I peer through those heavy, weighted down eyelids, my vision is blurred like a diaphanous film covering me, mocking me with its translucent shapes.
My heart races as anxiety seizes me, its cold claws slithering up my spine. Sleep is just a memory now—though I long for its relaxing arms to wrap around me.
I start counting sheep, but they morph into something else—something with less hair and razor-sharp teeth. Fear of not sleeping consumes me, laying over me like a blanket made of stone.
My breathing grows ragged, I start panting, feeling breathless. It’s coming and there’s nowhere to hide.
My body runs hot and cold simultaneously. Sweat bleeds on my skin like fresh dew on an early, humid morning.
The monster strikes.
I grab my chest, my breath stuck in my throat, trying to count to ten, but my body is a raging furnace yet my skin feels like ice against my fingertips.
I cry out to God and beg him to destroy the monster, which some nights He does. Other nights I must ride the monster until it’s had its fill of me, and then it departs.
A sigh of relief slips through my lips.
I’ve survived the monster once more.

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