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I've been staring at the ceiling for what feels like hours, watching slivers of refracted rainbow light from the window ripple across it every time a car passes by. It kind of reminds me of the northern lights and I wish I hadn't missed them the other night. There's an odd charge in the air, almost like a storm is brewing. Maybe it's my imagination, but I feel like my head is full of static. It's not unpleasant, but I have no idea how I'm going to get to sleep like this. I have so many different ideas bouncing around in my head that I don't have time to explore or process any of them fully before another one pops up. It's like having a beehive in your brain. I feel inspired to work on everything at once, but I can't settle on anything. It's almost paralyzing. Where was this energy yesterday, when I needed it?

I can't stop fidgeting. The metal alarm clock on my bedside table seems so much louder than usual. Every tick is a jarring, unwelcome interruption, like someone butting into a conversation or whispering too loudly in a library. It makes it difficult to think.

I hate that little clock. It's somehow followed me around for years, always being placed in the exact same spot, at the exact same angle, which, oddly, made it impossible to read from the bed. The batteries in it have to be at least 3 years old, and I wonder now why I've never thrown it out or donated it, especially since it wasn't something I ever used or wanted to begin with. I don't remember ever even setting the alarm. Nevertheless, the alarm clock was somehow still deemed a necessity, and it quickly laid siege to the entire sidetable, like a metallic lord overseeing his manor where nothing was ever permitted to be out of place. There would usually be a notepad and pen next to the clock, along with a charger or some pills, and everything always had to be arranged at precise right angles; perfect, impractical, and controlled to the point it felt artificial and dysfunctional.


I never imagined I would find myself sympathizing with Captain Hook, but here we are. I need to take the batteries out of that thing.

Or better yet, make time fly and yeet that bitch out a window.

The thought makes me chuckle and I can't help but imagine the satisfying clang it would make as it shattered against the sidewalk, sending hundreds of tiny gears flying in all directions. I know thats not what would really happen, of course, but it's still a fun mental image. I don't think the neighbors would appreciate it though, and with my luck I'd hit a pedestrian. I guess it's a moot point either way- I don't believe in destroying perfectly good things or hurting people in order to make myself feel better. You have to be an extremely weak individual to do that.

I do find it a little odd that the clock is bothering me so much while the other sounds I can hear are almost comforting. Sure, the Elvis music gets a little old sometimes, but this apartment complex feels much safer, despite always being so noisy. Overhead, someone is playing video games and I can hear a dog barking. It sounds like the sort of angry, heartbroken tantrum that canines often throw when being left behind, and I wonder if the rapid footfalls on the stairs belong to the dog's owner. He's laughing and it sounds like he's running between units, probably visiting friends. Everyone is so sociable here, and I wonder if I'm the only one who has to work in the morning.

11 pm: still can't sleep. Instead, I made tea, scrolled through cat videos on Instagram, listened to an interview with an exorcist, then found Uncle Andy's obituary online. He had some pretty serious health issues, but he was the happiest person I ever met and he never begrudged his lot in life. When you asked him about it, he'd just say he didn't need to give himself another disability by complaining. He was a good guy. I'm glad he's in heaven and not hurting anymore, but I worry about Marta. It also makes me wonder how much longer my grandparents have. I should try to go see them this summer. Dad's getting older too; that bothers me a little.

12:01: If valerian tea won't do the trick, maybe I should try having a glass of wine. I really don't want to do that on a weeknight though. If only I could afford to just get up and paint. I'm pretty sure I still have black stains under my nails from my projects that are drying in the kitchen, and every time I close my eyes, I picture an infinite number of patterns that I could make from the shiny tubes of blue and gold paint on the counter. I wish I didn't have to get up so early. The only thing that's more obnoxious than an unscratchable art itch is getting a color stuck in my head, which also happens from time to time.

What's even worse is I can't settle on a design right now, so even if I were to get up, I'd probably spend an hour just scribbling down ideas or staring mindlessly at the wall. I could cheat and replicate my tattoos for the pattern, but it seems kind of lazy to simply recycle something that already exists, and it might be a little weird. I think it could feel a bit "Ed Gein" to imitate my skin on a piece of decor. There's got to be something more original and interesting that I can do. Maybe I can use resin to make a sparkly celestial pool for my base, then add constellations with gold paint over the top. I think I still have some glow powders too.

12:32. I wonder if Jenna's up. Probably not at this hour. I could call Dana, but last time we were talking till well past 2am. Maybe I should just try listening to a podcast instead.

The podcast worked. My project must have followed me into my sleep cycle, though, because I kept seeing two giant, disembodied hands in my dreams. They were a rich, velvety black, with skin so dark that it almost ached to look at it. Not in an ominous or frightening way, however. It was more like the pangs one feels when listening to an especially moving piece of music or encountering someone devastatingly beautiful. Disembodied shadows would normally be something I'd find incredibly disturbing, especially after listening to spooky stories all night, but this was different. I think the hands were so dark not because they were associated with anything negative or evil, but rather to deliberately contrast and emphasise the beauty and splendor of the different lights that they had touched. I remember watching stars dripping off each of the long, elegant fingers and slowly running down them like maple syrup. They must have just finished stirring liquid galaxies, and I could easily imagine those same hands weaving moonbeams and rainbows through their fingers for cat's cradle or flicking planets across the sky for a game of marbles. It was an incredibly weird dream, but I think I know how I'll finish my tea stand now. It won't be anywhere near as ethereal, but it should still be cool. Sometimes inspiration comes from really weird places.

Time to get up- one does not ignore hungry cats, and I don't want to be late. My projects will have to wait, but if I'm lucky, I might experience a similar wave of creative energy on my next day off, hopefully in the afternoon rather than the middle of the night. It never works that way, of course, but one can hope always hope. If not, I look forward to going to bed early and catching up on some much needed sleep. God knows I need it.


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