I've been having a hard time getting to sleep recently. If I was a drunk, I'd be drinking myself into sleep, but I'm not. I'm a reader, so I read myself into sleep. When the words and lines cross and the same sentence seems new even though its the fifth time I've tried to read it, I put my book aside and succumb to sleep. Restless, tortured sleep.
I exaggerate. But then again, it is past midnight and my normal bout with a book didn't work. I laid in bed for 15 minutes before finally switching the light back on and bringing up a book of sudoku. A few puzzles later and I'm even more awake than I was when I started. Normally the pattern and the numbers will lull me into a stupor, priming my mind for dreams where numbers overlay the world and navigating my dream world requires a pattern matching skill not unlike that necessary for scanning in sudoku.
I've been fighting it, but tonight I have no choice but to admit what's been keeping me awake. A road has been calling me. It's a desolate one, leading to a not-unfamiliar town in middle America. I drove this road for the first time late one night some four or five months ago. It was the first time I drove down this road, I wasn't sure were it would lead me. A few hours down the road and I stopped. Since then, it's been calling me and I've been ignoring it.
Every night it crosses my mind as I dive further and further into the next book, the next puzzle, the next level on a video game. Its call started out gentle, but as I've ignored it, it has grown impatient. As it has grown impatient, it has grown louder, until tonight I can't hardly close my eyes but I see the road markers lazy pass by as I drive down that road. I can't hardly drift to sleep for the gentle thud as I hit the stutter bumps as the road reminds me that it is there. Waiting, asking to be driven. Still gently, but persistently.
I've no other choice but to give in. I've got to follow this road and see where it winds up. Where it goes, I'm not sure yet. I know this much: it takes me to a week in a life that I've yet to live. It takes me to some discovery. Profound or mundane? I've yet to realize it. This road won't leave me alone until I explore it and see where it leads to.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a story to write.
Thud, thud, thud.