What is drearier than sleepless nights? Heavy eyelids, lifeless eyes stare into the nothingness. Eyes burn, scream. You lie there paralyzed, cold like a cadaver, while your mind wanders about a thousand places. Labored breaths, palpitation. Darkness thickens. Silence falls. You hear the dripping sound. Somewhere in the house a tap drips. Drops of water hit the sink in a peculiar pattern—one drop, three drops, water accumulates, three drops, one drop, four drops. Something is strangely familiar about this. You try to decipher it. You try to focus, dripping sound reverberates in the back of your head. Then, as the clock strikes 3, these nights conjure up the demons of past and future to haunt us.
These demons delve deeper, through your subconscious into the unconscious. They break into the vault of repression and release unpleasant memories. Memories of lost time—how you could have achieved the things you always wanted to, how you could have been something you always wanted to be, how you could have done something worth your while; that lost friendship—you did not accept your fault then nor do you want to accept it today. Over building bridges you always have chosen feeding your ego; a face once so pretty, now the harbinger of sadness, flashes in front of your eyes and you relive heartbreak for the umpteenth time; those faces which you have scarred for life by knowing so little about your own self, their paintings hang on your mind’s walls to constantly remind you of your blatant acts.
The rate of dripping lowers, the sound of drops hitting the sink grows stronger. Your mind comes to present for a fleeting moment just to be lost again. You know these demons play hide and seek with your mind.
How selfish you have been for all your life, how unhappy you still are, what is it that you want? What is it that you need? What will the future bring? Is it going to be the same? How do you get out of this marsh? You ask yourself all these questions till your mind goes in limbo. Void.
One drop, two drops, one drop, two drops. The sound grows stronger than ever. It sounds sweet like your favourite song. It draws you to reality, slowly. Propensity of water, you wonder. Finally, it dawns upon you that water is the one of the four potent elements of nature. Water finds a way. It breaks itself down into drops to keep going, to be whole again and reach its destination. Dripping is not its anomaly. It is its strength. It’s as if this realisation performs exorcism. Demons howl, release their grip and disappear into the night. One drop, two drops, one drop, two drops. Water inspires you. You resolve to achieve all the things you always wanted to, be something you always wanted to be, do things that are worth doing, call up that friend and reconcile, love again with all your heart, not think about the future and live. You feel good about yourself this once. Relieved, you sleep.
You wake up. You wake up in pain, muffle a shriek. You gasp for breath. Your chest aches, as if it is under the weight of this world. You feel it in your bones, you know it—that few minutes’ sleep did the demons’ bidding. It changed something, something essential to your inner peace. You find yourself in the clutches of the demons again. Their screeches make you shudder. Pain amplifies as a tempest of emotions rages. You hear a familiar voice. You hear yourself say, I will reconcile, I will love again, I will not think about the future … the pain surpasses past bearing and you scream inwardly, I give up.
It is then the demons dance.