ExcerptI toss and turn at night. When I roll over, the sheets slide down the back of my bare skin and wash over the edge of the bed, water falling to the ground as the silk splashes the stained hardwood. The room is chill; the carbon dioxide infiltrates the room, my breath dances above my lips merely a moment before vanishing into the outer world of my most salient dreams.
Will I always be able to come back here? How do I know when I fall asleep I’ll be able to return? When will it ever stop? Is this the last time I’ll see them again?
Every morning after returning to the conscious, a slight golden ring submerges itself into my dim room lit by the waxed over candle on my nightstand, casting a ray ever-so-perfectly across my eye lids. Warm. The warmth of the sun overwhelms me, I can’t process the amorous comfort and I disregard the awakening. My body, paralyzed, lies stiff for a moment until my eyelids flash open. I can’t see yet, everything is engulfed in fog. Forcing my eyelids to flash once, twice, and by the third time, I can finally see.
Every morning. Everyday. It’s all the same.
Everything is painted by colors of another hue. The ceiling has disappeared and the sky has become my covering shelter. I’ve never seen a sky as intricate and effervescent as I do in my dreams, the sky is amaranthine; it’s one giant amethyst, the sun bloodshot red, clouds of rose pink and stars of cobalt. I can make out the constellations as I do in my dreams. Every night I map out the same ones over and over again, assured of what my eyes have discovered. My mother. My father. My baby brother. There they are, and there they’ll stay. All of them dancing in the vault of heaven together, smiling and laughing for the life they have together. Each star connects every part of their face down to the detail of my mother’s freckles that sleep on her cheeks. When the stars align, they come to life. My family is right there, just in reach, watching over me and whispering from the universe they love me, guiding me in my sleep to find places of new worlds and alternate realities. Each star fades into the true color of their skin tone and precise hue of their crystal blue eyes. It’s the most beautiful depiction of my family I’ve ever seen. I try and force myself to sleep every night just so I can see the them.
Yet I am awake, and there they are.
Right in front of me.