The First Bird Call Outside the Window

The First Bird Call Outside the Window

A Story by Dennis Shanaberg
"

A piece I wrote about insomnia while battling insomnia

"

Why stay up so late into the night?  Awake into the night, until it becomes the day?  See the first shimmers of light scratching their way through my window?  Hear the sounds of the world slowly awakening?  It is all a clatter, a gentle commotion.  It begins quietly and then reaches a crescendo.  It is generally after that crescendo that my mind will allow the body the rest that it wishes for.
My mind appears to be under the impression that it can live without the body.  Free.  Flying amongst the clouds with the dreams that it inflicts.  What it does not understand is that it is bound so greatly by the body, and the pain it burdens it with.  My mind thinks that this care free and flashy disobedience to sleep that everyone else adheres to is without consequence.  It does not understand that as the body tires, the mind loses its focus.  It cannot spend those wanton hours in the darkness doing as it pleases because the body will no longer allow it to.
The body has its own impression.  It knows that it is not strong, not agile, not even beautiful.  But it wishes to be, or even wishes that my mind would see it that way.  The body has dreams too, but my mind will not hear them.  The body dreams of being attractive like others that it sees, dreams of being athletic like the other bodies that are so coveted.  The body knows though that the dreams can never be heard for my mind is the one that translates them.
My mind is selfish.  It will not speak to the body.  It knows what the body needs and dreams of, but it crushes the body’s dreams, not out of contempt, but simply a belief that that is its only way of survival.  My mind thinks that the night is the prison for the body.  The night is where the body begins to falter.  The joints become weary, the muscles tire.  My mind thinks itself to be so clever and strong.
The body weakens as the hours tick on.  Each twitch of the second hand pushes the body further and further to the brink of complete exhaustion.  The body knows this and relishes in my mind’s folly.  The body makes itself even weaker in its only defense against the tyranny of its nemesis.  Its weakness draws on the power of my mind as the birds begin to awaken outside the dark window.
The first bird call outside the window.
My mind knows what is to come.  It appears to be the same exclamation every morning around the same time.  My mind recognizes it now.  And in turn, so does the body.  The bird is a harbinger for pain and solace.  My mind battles now.  It wages war against the vengeful body.  How could so weak a thing play such a vicious game.  My mind feels power draining from itself as the body simpers inside.
The pain sometimes becomes unbearable but still the body presses on.  My mind cannot continue to torture the body so.  The bird call means that the battle will grow more violent.  The body begins to change its strategy.  It no longer simply drains my mind of the power it needs to remain conscious, but then adds distractions to throw my mind off course.
My mind realizes the pain growing within and throughout the body.  It wants to cry.  But it does not control the tears.
A dog barks in the distance as car tires scatter gravel on the road outside.
My mind starts to lose focus.  It tries to consider what the dog bark truly was.  What it means.  But it can’t.  It begins to misunderstand what the dog is.  What is the bark?  What makes that noise?  It’s the dog.  Where is the dog?  The car spirals headlong into a similar brick wall in my mind.
The body relishes this moment.  It knows its success is at hand.
Rays of light begin to tap at the window, not daring yet to enter.  Not yet.
The body smiles, and my mind tries to think of how to create a cringe, but it cannot.  It knows that it must give in to the demands of the body soon.  My mind does not consider this a loss.  It considers it a simple setback.  The next night, it shall prevail.  The next night, it can regroup.  Keep the body from making it lose focus.  That’s the plan.  Battle until it reaches victory.  Until it can turn night into day and utilize every second that the body has been given.  It is in both of their best interests.
The light finally pierces through the window as a jet engine scrapes through the wind above.  The jet leaves a distant scar in the sky, and the light kills the shadows throughout the room.
The body understands that this means victory.  Soon my mind will wave a pure white flag, and sleep will be offered as a term in the daily written treaty.  The body knows that the war is not over and fears it never will be.  The body believes that it is smarter than my mind, for without the body, my mind is useless, unusable.  The body prays that one day, my mind will surrender for the duration of it’s time.  That it will allow the natural sleep to the body that all other creatures adhere to.  The body knows that it needs rest in order for my mind to reach its full potential.  It is in both of their best interests.
The birds are all screaming now.  Their voices harmonize agonizingly across the wind soaked trees.  The light has shrouded them, the dog, the room, even the scar of that jet in the sky, now visible to all below.
Why stay up so late into the night?  Why stay up now that the night is becoming day?  Is it to hear the first warble of the mourning dove, that my mind draws so much inspiration from?  Is it to feel the first flowing and wholesome tendrils of sunlight that the body so desperately craves?
Another dog barks in the distance.  It means something as I recall.  The dog does.  Or is it the bark?  What is the bark?  What makes the noise?  It is the dawn.  Where is the night?

© 2009 Dennis Shanaberg


Author's Note

Dennis Shanaberg
I still even think this one is a little weird.
It was written at six in the morning, after not sleeping for days.
Tell me what ya think.

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Featured Review

I agree with you, it's weird, but I wouldn't expect anything else at six in the morning after not sleeping for a while. Besides, weird is not a bad thing. I rather enjoyed it. My mind takes me on those journeys now and then, and when I look back on what I've written, I say the same thing, "That's a little weird." Then I follow up with, "Cool!" So in case you couldn't tell, I enjoyed this very much, it's strange but I am unusually relaxed after having read it. I guess I needed that. Thanks!!

Posted 10 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.



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For me it made a lot of sense. I see a young man with incredible detail for the world he is in but has not been able to experience or understand yet. To write with such depth about seemingly nothing, tells a great deal about the writer, how he wonders about what is going on out there, what is important and what is irrevelant. There is enormous potential in this writer but he lacks subject. Subject comes with age. The creative mind is seperate to the logical mind. We live in a logical world for the most part but to be able to give it a creative spin, shows talent. But it is talent that needs to incubate and only time will do that.
I am sincere in believing this writer will develope into someone of note and it is an honor to be here at his inception.

Posted 10 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I agree with you, it's weird, but I wouldn't expect anything else at six in the morning after not sleeping for a while. Besides, weird is not a bad thing. I rather enjoyed it. My mind takes me on those journeys now and then, and when I look back on what I've written, I say the same thing, "That's a little weird." Then I follow up with, "Cool!" So in case you couldn't tell, I enjoyed this very much, it's strange but I am unusually relaxed after having read it. I guess I needed that. Thanks!!

Posted 10 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


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Added on August 16, 2009
Last Updated on August 16, 2009

Author

Dennis Shanaberg
Dennis Shanaberg

Mentor, OH



About
About my Life… It’s a preface far too long For anyone to read. It’s growing longer everyday. Filled with love and laughter, life and greed. more..

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