Like Schumann with bricks tied to his fingers, I’m training my eyelids for more sleepless nights. I wonder when they’ll finally break to simply become flaccid pieces of skin hanging limp over my haunted irises. But for now, with no easy effort, they stay up, falling down every so often with a weight that starts me back into wakefulness. I shift my body around a bit and furtively massage my temples with my forefingers, hoping it will send some message of fortitude to my brain to keep taut the invisible string to my eyelids.
The teacher at the front of the class keeps shouting at the children to wake up. I wonder if she notices that I’m the worst of them all. I look up from my child’s work occasionally to lock eyes with her and feel that no amount of acting can remove the glaze from my eyes, their quicksand sockets and dry lashes that prick, daring me to rub them.
I try not to think about how sweet it would feel to close them, laying my head down on the table.
No. Don’t go there. You can do this. Breathe in. Out. In. Out. Survive another day. For what? Don’t go there. It’s not the time to think. For now, just breathe.