Note: This short short story was inspired by an exercise in the book “3AM Epiphany.”
The instructions of the exercise were to combine an original poem of my own with a poem previously written by a professional poet, and use them to create a new 700 word short story.
For the professional poem, I chose one called Sleepless Night written by Tiziano Thomas Dossena and made a few tense changes for the sake of consistency in my story. This is what I came up with…
Another Sleepless Night:
A sleepless night spent struggling through the meanders of my mind in endless explorations, I laid there staring at the ceiling wondering and worrying about nothing important while waiting for the Sandman to come.
Instead of counting sheep, an exercise that never made much sense to me, I counted nonessential items I’d lost and random things I’d forgotten to do. In fact, it wasn’t until my 3AM epiphany when I realized those infinitely unimportant items on my life’s ‘to do’ list.
Innumerable considerations scattered around as stars in the sky, none with enough light of its own but adaptable in their interconnection to show me the way. The harmony of the universe, confined for a moment in the boundaries of my head, exploded in its beauty.
At some point in between stressing over that missing flip flop and trying to recall if I remembered to set the timer on the coffee pot, I sank into slumber. The thirst for knowledge had kneeled at my need of sensations.
Bittersweet memories of lovers past, some real and others made up in my mind, erased all the powerful thoughts leaving a proven soul sighing in an exhausted body. The dread of the night had subsided and a sudden warmth had overtaken me. While the first sunbeam snuck through the window I suddenly remembered how to sleep.
A split second or maybe an eternity passed and I was asleep and, yet, I was aware I was dreaming. I didn’t mind. I’d had this dream before. And it was a good one.
“Hello, Alejandro,” I said in a fuck me tone I’d have probably never used in real life.
Alejandro didn’t respond. He knew there was no time for conversation or mindless chit chat. There was business that needed attending to and he and I were on a stiff deadline.
Wasting no time, Alejandro climbed into my bed and kissed me. His breath was close and warm like a space heater. In retrospect, it may have been the space heater. I tried to focus while he drew a line from my mouth downward with his tongue. My mind fell away and my skin seized the day. My spine lifted as I pushed into him. He pulled back, pursed his lips and blew a cool concentrated breath across my stomach. I gripped the sheet beneath me tightly and hoped it wasn’t a cold wind coming in through my window being sent to interrupt us.
Not wanting to take any chances, I turned over onto him and returned the favor.
“Let’s get this party started,” I said.
In real life, I never would have said that. I was aware of that. Still, my dream lover, Alejandro, smiled like it was the coolest thing he’d ever heard. So I rewarded him.
It took but a split second to satisfy him. It was my dream and my rules after all and I was anxious to take my turn.
Alejandro was just about to go down on me again when Mother tapped on my window that morning seizing my skin with her breeze and my mind with the click-clack of leaves falling from trees. Still I squeezed my pillow in denial. If you knew Alejandro like I’d known him, you wouldn’t have blamed me.
My thighs held on to Alejandro’s face and my eyes held on tightly to slumber—a slumber that had eluded me for so long. I pressed hard on my subconscious Snooze and I writhed in pleasure as Alejandro finished what he came to do.
Afterward I wanted to snuggle but my brain wouldn’t allow it. Like a cheap date with an adventurous streak, he dined and dashed. Unfortunately, the man of my dreams was also a jerk. He came and went as he pleased.
I didn’t have time to miss him or pine over him or negotiate him back. I wasn’t beyond lying to myself to keep a good dream going—or a bad man, like Alejandro.
But my loving Mother found another way to keep us apart. She sent the rain to trickle and tickle sweetly on my subconscious mind with its dripdropdrip dripdropdrip. Autumn sensations replaced with those of coffee and cream and delicious caffeine.
Apparently I remembered to set the timer. Suddenly I was awake.