The party is raging outside my window, a few stories down. Whistling and shouting mingle with the insistent background pounding--drunken drums, throbbing like a heartbeat from a car stereo.
I can't sleep. I am so frustrated. I shouldn't be awake right now, shouldn't have been awake for the past several hours. But I can't make myself go to bed because I haven't gotten anything done. It feels like a waste of the lost sleep if I give up without figuring out what is broken.
I pin my identity on every problem. Then the problem runs away from me, and I chase after it, because I am tied to it. I grow weary of running, but cannot stop. The problem pulls me onward... When the solution eludes me--slipping through the shadows, dancing in the darkness (like the smokers partying outside)--I feel abandoned and lost. I've come so far, but arrived nowhere.
Meanwhile, the music outside ebbs and flows like the tide, like the ocean. It washes over me, but I can't swim tonight. The pounding waves of sound break over my head. I gasp, and breathe in saltwater. Choking, I kick myself to the surface, just in time for another wave.
The person I wanted to be stands on the shore, silently watching. Is she smiling, laughing even, as I flail? Impossible to tell from this distance, with the water spraying in my face, the salt in my eyes. I want to scream, but the sea rots my voice. Only a gurgle escapes me.
Another wave comes, and another.
Maybe one of them will sweep me, kicking and coughing, into sleep.