Fiction, Short Fiction, short writings

My Nights Now

I’m sleeping, or at least I’m feeling myself fall asleep.

My head is clear on this warm, clear night, and the trees are whistling “goodnight” softly with their multicolored leaves for the summer. Crickets chirp previously on the grass floor adjacent to my black brick apartment building. And it reminds me of a home that for the first I don’t mind missing. A small smile graces my lips as I picture a sweet woman coming in to say goodnight to the child I was once was, proceeding to turn on three fans to help circulate the air, close the blinds so no one can see me (but I’d open them after she was gone), and lovingly talk sweet nothings to me before bed. Mama did have a way of making bedtime a special adventure before bed.

The smile on my face deepens in a lazy haze as I sense a familiar presence wrap around my exposed waist. The bony, semi-muscular arms settle just below my torpedos and pull me closer to someone who makes my body instantly relax beyond reason. A muffled voice asks something, I say yes, and then those hands begin tenderly stroking the softness of my belly. My unmarked flesh, lightning streaks of stretch marks, and the undersides of my breasts receive gentle touches that lull me further into slumber.

In my mind, the events of the day seem to threaten the peace I feel on the inside of my body. Crossing streets made of hot asphault that turned into dumb weights attached to my calves. My heart tightned at the thought of that catcaller whistling and screaming after my passing ass when crossing the street in front of his blue chevy truck. The woman who refused to respect my pronouns and gender me correctly, because she thinks my simply stating who I am and setting that standard of respect is against her “freedom of speech” honestly made me think some dark thoughts about her. The gears in my head were working overtime as anger, frustration, and anxiety rolled into my C-PTSD, causing my stomach to tie into an unbreakable knot. Reality, what was happening now, was becoming lost to me.

It was all slipping through my fingers so fast.

When my black cat Lucifer came up and began tickling my nose, I took that sensation as a means for climbing out of the rabbit hole. I focused intently on my cat’s slim tail running under my nostrils like the mustache it was trying to be. I then thought of my black bunny Judas Isariot sleeping the night away in their little nest of a bed. It brought a smile to my face thinking about the way their tiny nose would scrunch up at random moments making them the cutest thing on the fucking planet. The light pink of Judas’ little sniffer caused me to remininsce about that nice senior man walking past me on the sidewalk on the way to wherever life was taking me at that time of the day. He wore brown pants with suspenders laying on a cleanly pressed sky blue and white long-sleeved dressshirt. Walking much slower than me, he did not seem to be in a hurry. He only took in each moment as it came and seemed more grateful than the average person for it. I had smiled and waved at him, and he did it back, and man was it nice to know there are still kind souls out here who just can be decent to other folks.

I made it a game, to see how many good things right now could make me recall the small yet beautiful things of earlier. That little plant I have at the corner of the windsow sill behind my partner reminded me of the green of the countless trees I passed while walking down Evenant Avenue and then up Leeson Road, simply taking in all of the sights and sounds that graced past me in each moment. The birds that flew over my head as I walked besides houses older than me, my parents, and grandparents combined, the drivers who had a billion and one things to do but had to beep their way through the cluster fuck of traffic that happened around 5 pm each evening, and there was no forgetting the laughable amount of trash that I came across in the street, making me wish that there were more trash cans placed at various points on the sidewalks.

None of those things were perfect, but they were able to help me become grounded in the present moment again. They all showed me living a real life outside of my bedroom. There were assholes I faced with a middle finger and kept myself moving onward. Fellow passerbys being kind and compassionate, even if it was just a one-time hello being said, warmed my heart closer to peacefulness. Instead of reaching for the top of the rabbit hole, I helped the top come down to my level, feeling the knot unravel into a flow that wrapped compassionately around my whole self.

The bliss settled me into a calming blackness as I pressed a soft kiss to my joyfriend’s calloused palm and joined hands with sleep.

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