In anticipation of the night, the twisting begins. I shuffle from side to side in my cell, feeling my body surrendering while my mind searches frantically for things to which to hold. It matters not what it is so long as it keeps me awake and vigilant.
While what I do is mundane – a movie, a book, maybe I play some music — what I am running from is anything but.
The night comes over me like a blight descending over the woods. It is the cowering in the cave. It is the desperate run from annihilation.
“My only salvation is the love of a woman who lifts me in her arms and wraps me in her perfume and carries me to the other side of the night.”
There was a time, as a child, when I woke up screaming in the night. I cannot give shape or description to what I saw then. Today, I still do not know what it is. It is unfathomable to my conscious mind, but when I go to sleep it is out there, waiting for me still.
In the dark there is dissolution and waste and a vast unwinding into emptiness.
But when the voluptuous woman lies in my bed, I do not fear the night. I can go to her and embrace the soft curves of her body and kiss the back of her neck and say in peace, “Night, take me.” She gives me safe passage.
Alone, I do not have any such refuge. Instead I spend long hours rattling around in my cage until the sleepiness in my body finally drags me under.
So when the evening comes, I dread yet another descent into the dark. I know that the battle awaits me. I am already too bloodied and weary to fight again the fight I cannot win. I go to my slaughter. In the trenches, I scream bloody murder.
My only salvation is the love of a woman who lifts me in her arms and wraps me in her perfume and carries me to the other side of the night.
But when I am alone, there is no respite. The night comes at me full bore, insatiable and pitiless.
And in my strange twisting, I crane my neck looking always for the first light of the dawn.