Sleeping With Insomnia

Antonio Rodriguez
3 min readMar 19, 2021

Her name was Insomnia. I met her when I was fifteen and she was otherworldly. She had energy to spare and once she focused on something she would work at it until she finished. I learnt a lot from her like how to play video games better and how to read whole novels until daybreak. I learnt how to focus my energy into more desirable things like schoolwork and research. And when she left each morning, a bright new day had begun. Sometimes we would hang out for days without end. And sometimes she would kiss me good night and I would fall into the deepest slumber. But even then she lingered in the back of my mind, she perforated my dreams as if by an act of magic and never truly left me to be alone. Insomnia has always been there for me (and still is). She was ever present, like God, but she was not quite and still and comforting. She was motivation incarnate, excitement, energy, she was the plural of actions and a universe of ideas. Insomnia was wakefulness amidst the mellow tone of the world. She forced me to be; a powerful presence behind the man I would become.

Life with her was not always good. I don’t remember when, or how for that matter, but coexisting began to be worrisome. We took a left turn somewhere down our active line and coming back from it seemed nearly impossible. I would say that our troubles began once I started my first job when I was in college. I was twenty-two by then and spent most of my days at school and work. I barely had the energy for her. It was my fault, really. I’d abandoned her and went on to try and live life on my own. She would fight me every time we were together and her screams pierced mi head with such intensity that I would fold and spend time with her out of frustration. She knew, but it was all the same to her. As long as I was hers, and hers alone, nothing else mattered; not school, work, friends or family. Thinking back, she always got what she wanted. And after everything was said and done she was contempt just laying in bed with me awake. She would watch me and make sure that my eyes were fixed on hers. If I started to drift away she would wake me with a quickness unknown to man. “Sleep cannot have you, love. Me and only me.” she would say. And I believed her. “Yours and only yours.”

We just celebrated or fifteenth anniversary this past year. It hasn’t always been easy but she is a loyal companion. As kids she promised never to go away and she made good on her promise. A woman of her word; I’ll give her that. To this day we just lay awake in bed taking each other in. I share every aspect of my life with her; the good, the bad, the ugly. To this day there is still no sign of her packing her bags an leaving me though sometimes I wish she would, not permanently, of course, that would be like ripping me to pieces. There are times, however, when I ask if she ever regretted staying with me instead of getting to know other people, but her answer’s the same: “There’s no one else for me other than you and you alone.” I should count myself lucky, I guess. Not everyone gets to sleep with Insomnia. For ever and ever it’s only me and me alone.

Antonio Rodriguez