Sleepless Night: Waiting for Morning With a Girl on My Mind

Lying in bed and trying to sleep it off isn’t exactly the best way to get over an ex…

I woke to the distinct taste of iron in my mouth. She had been hiding behind my eyelids again, waiting to creep into my subconscious. I don’t remember what I was dreaming, but I’d bitten clear through my bottom lip. There were about a million hours left until sunrise, and the moon was making shadows dance around my room.

I wondered if I’d ever really be okay again.

To make matters worse, my stirring awakened the feminine creature who shared my bed. Despite the fact that she slept eighteen hours a day, “Doo,” my cat, was none too happy about having her slumber disturbed.

It had been months since my relationship had ended, and I was finally doing healthy, mature things. I was eating right and exercising. I’d cut back the alcohol to human levels. I was immersed in projects, creative and mundane. I was spending time with friends, even dating again. So why wasn’t I feeling any better? How was she still managing to sneak into the citadels of my mind and run roughshod with my emotions? Why couldn’t I expunge the memory of her?

I sat up in my bed, surrendering to that foul demon, Insomnia. The still of night now vibrated with the sound of Doo purring. She had sensed my disquiet and, out of empathy, curled up into a ball in my lap. Her wordless offering was entirely uncharacteristic for her species; no one ever told Doo that cats were supposed to be aloof and distant. But she wasn’t entirely altruistic; she had even less desire to be awake at this god-forsaken hour of the morning than I did.

The words of the Bard made a hollow sound as they echoed through the halls of my mind: “‘Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.”

I wanted to punch him right in the face.

Not that I disagreed; I simply wanted to debate the issue. With my fists. “Those were words,” I told myself, “that could only have been uttered by someone who had never truly gone through the utterly soul shredding experience of heartbreak.”

Doo yawned at my angst. I was boring her. I was boring myself.

I found myself on the fire escape, considering my Taoist training and the nature of impermanence. The shore didn’t own the waves any more than blades of grass own the morning dew. Both were grateful for the blessing bestowed on each other, however momentary. When tides ebb and the morning sun evaporated the dew, neither the shore nor the blades of grass experienced regret.

Strangers become intimates become strangers. Yin and yang, the endlessly repeating cycle.

I had watched the moon illuminate the East River as it traversed the night sky. Everything was flux; sameness and stability were the illusion. Every living thing and every inanimate object was set in an eternal pattern of motion. The happiness I thought I’d found with her had risen and set, like the moon before me. It was human arrogance, trying to lock something inherently dynamic into a static pattern that made the situation unacceptable.

I had spent months telling myself I was alone by choice; it was a lie. I was alone because the person I wanted to be with didn’t want to be with me anymore. The purpose was for me to evolve. The sword does not curse the grinding wheel for being abrasive; and Love was teaching me, honing me to a razor’s edge.

Morning dawned, and I watched the Manhattan skyline turn shades of fuchsia, and tangerine. I rejoined Doo, the sensei of snooze, and donned a blindfold. It was easier to close my eyes than to blot out the light of the sun. Reality, like the sun, was going to wake me up to my life, whether I was ready or not.

© Jackie Summers 2012

—Photo different2une/Flickr

About Jackie Summers

Jackie Summers is an author and entrepreneur. His blog F*cking in Brooklyn chronicles his quest to become a person worthy of love. His company, Jack From Brooklyn, Inc. houses his creative and entrepreneurial enterprises. Follow him on Twitter @jackfrombkln and friend him on Facebook


  1. I feel your pain. Been there, done that.

    Two and a bit years down the line… it get’s easier. Just a little…

  2. I love the eloquence and fragility of your expression. I’ll put a an ocka Aussie spin on it for you…Yeh. It’s a bit bloody shit mate. Sometimes there’s relationships we have that stay with us long after they’re ended. Bizarrely enough it really doesn’t matter how long that person was a part of your life..when you experience that total bliss of mutual reciprocal affection/bond and then its taken away so cruelly…. It hurts so bloody bad. I spent two inseparable weeks with an English guy…last time I saw him he promised to call me..I never heard from him again, didn’t even say bye. And whaddyaknow its over a year and a half later and…pathetically I still wonder, and wish, and dream most days…gees wonder what would of happened if it’d been a full blown relationship. But still oddly enough I think more about the euphorically happy times we had together rather than the bitter betrayal he dealt me in the end.

    ‘I was alone because the person I wanted to be with didn’t want to be with me anymore.’

  3. “The purpose was for me to evolve”

    Jackie, I love this post and more importantly that phrase. Kudos, sir. As with anything, time passes and the pain dissipates. Memories dull and then you seem to feel nothing for awhile. Then suddenly you wake up one morning and you realize you’re no longer haunted, you’re no longer viciously replaying last words and glances and that you’re well rested. Because you’re sleeping…

    Be easy on yourself and go through the process. 🙂

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