This is your brain –on insomnia

Ah, at last, bedtime. Deep breath in . . .

           Breathing in.

Fill those lungs, now breathe out . . .

            Breathing out.

Pace it out, slower . . .

           I am going slower. How come you aren’t sleeping?

Give me a few minutes. Now breathe . . .

            I don’t think this is working very well for you.

Is too. Be quiet.

           What if I can’t go to sleep, what if my ideas won’t let me?

Then we’ll just get out the virtual white board.

           White board?

Sure. Just put everything you think of on the board.

           Like this?

Exactly. Now erase it right away.

           But that was a good idea up there.

Oh really, what was it?

            Well, it’s all about this boy and he’s all alone except for his dog . . .

(a long while later)

I can’t believe you tricked me like that. Back to the board. No cheating.

             I was just—

I want nothing but a mind numbing expanse of white up there.

            But I what if I want a story? Just one more story?

Do you realize how late it is?

            But I have this idea that if you take that boy and add in a girl, a kind of scary girl . . .

(an even longer while later)

What are we doing still awake? What were you thinking? That’s it, you were thinking. No more thinking.

            Can I have a drink of water?

Don’t try to distract me.

            But what if I have to go to the bathroom?           

You should have thought of that earlier.

           But I think—

That’s just it, bedtime is for dreaming, not thinking. You can think in the morning.


No more buts.

           Pretty please?

You need your sleep.

           But, oops. I mean pretty please, with sugar on top?

Erase. Erase. Erase.

            If you don’t write it on that notepad on our nightstand, my whole idea will disappear.             Forever.

White. Peace. Nothingness. White. Peace. Nothingness. White, Pea . . .


Oh alright. If I write it will you go to sleep?

            Cross my heart.


(Light on. Scribble, scribble, scribble. Light off.)

             Thank you.

You’re welcome.

             You know, if that girl and that boy had super powers, you know, if they could fly–


             Time to wake up! Hurry up sleepyhead, now we can think AND write!



Do you still want to be a writer?

I know I doubt my sanity. I never had to question it before I allowed the writer brain out. Now, well I don’t want to think too hard about it.

Tell me, does it ever go away? I mean, once the book is done? Or do you just move on to more books, more thoughts, more sleepless nights spent in fruitless argument with yourself?

Please, at least tell me I am not alone.