Don’t Wake Me Up
Sprawled. That is the word you will think of when you see me lying in bed.
I will be lying on my back; legs and arms spread out to remind you of Da Vinci’s Vitruvian man.
If I open my eyes to look up, it will be to see the ceiling. If I turn my head to my right, it will be to have the blinding light, streaming in through the open window, hit my face. I think it is around noon – I could take my phone from the bedside to confirm that it is, but I choose not to. I don’t care what time it is. I’ll therefore keep facing up and my eyes will remain closed.
While you will see a body on top of a bed in a poor imitation of the Vitruvian man, on a Sunday afternoon, you will not really see me.
You will be oblivious to the throbbing muscles and aching joints that plague this body of mine; right from the ball and socket joints of the shoulder, down to the point where the femur and fibula bones join at the knee, all the way down to the ankles of my feet.
You will not be aware of the dull pain on my lower back nor feel my bones crackle, let loose trying to release tension in order to relax. You might not notice that I will be paying attention to every sensation in my body, willing it to function once more because I don’t think I can handle this fatigue anymore.
On that bed will lie a body that feels too heavy to move around. A body that is dog-tired of carrying its own weight. Lying there will be a head so heavy – one that went and got a life of its own. A head that has grown a bigger head such that the shoulders cannot hold it anymore.
From where you stand, you might not be privy to the fact that for weeks, it has been a burden carrying this body around, but I have faithfully done so anyway. I have felt its weight increase with each passing day and I have had to summon more energy to accommodate it.
This Sunday morning, it really was determined to weigh me down, but I had carried it to church all the same. It almost gave way, almost simply shut down. So as soon as the priest asked the Almighty Father to bless us in the Name of the + Father, the son and the holy spirit, + we burst out of the church door; my heavy head, dragged by my tired body led by my drowsy eyes.
It felt as if I was sinking slowly to the ground with every concerted footstep that I took. Luckily, we made it to this bed.
This is where it ends. This is where this unbearable load is unloaded. Once and for all.
I want to feel my tense muscles relax. I want to feel the throbbing in my temples begin to subside. I want to close my eyes and ignore the bright sun that is shining outside. I intend to listen out to the Sunday afternoon traffic. Listen to children playing while others are fighting and reporting their enemies to their parents. I want these noises to lull me to sleep. To peace. To much needed rest.
I’m taking a break from the chaos. From the deadlines. From the life. The walking, the working, the thinking. I am putting my exhaustion to rest. I will be burying it six feet under and putting a concrete slab over it. I will go one step further and pray for it to rest in peace, so that I can have mine.
My breathing is slow and intentional. I want to feel the oxygen fusing with the blood that passes through my heart. I want to feel my heartbeat become regular and unhurried again. I want to breath in. Intentionally. I want to exhale. Consciously. Through my nose and also through my mouth. I want to draw in each breath and let it out evenly.
When you walk in through that door, you will not feel my tense body relaxing slowly. You might not even witness my taut muscles letting go of its stiffness.
As I join my hands together over my head, or turn to face down and assume the more comfortable recovery position, as I reach out to pull the covers over my body, you will not be privy of the damage that this body will be trying to repair on the inside.
So I’m going under. For a few hours, I will be dead to the world. I will shut my body down so that I can re-energize and be able to function again.
You might hear me snore.
Whatever you do, do not wake me up.