Walking through your city sleep-mad and heart heavy, performing this constant dance like a bright light caught in wild dogs’ eyes, I am never quite sure of the time. Winter makes slipping through time simple, dark is always and doesn’t mean morning or night, and daylight is so brief that it serves only to exclude a few cold hours. On morning (I think) three (I think) of not sleeping, my eyes take on a simpleton’s gleam, they betray me and tell the world I am either insane or touched, and when I look in a mirror, I cannot tell the difference anymore. It amazes me that no one questions my explanations. Of course it is only sleep I lack. Of course there is nothing wrong. Of course the only thing I am is tired, and that is enough to explain away my moron’s eyes and lunatic grin, my stutter stop sentences and lurching gait, the staccato bursts of profanity followed by apology. The allowances granted me by anyone hearing about my troubled sleep are enough to convince me that all wars have been fought over sleep, instead of sex, money and god as I have always assumed. Sleep is more precious than gold, and it is clear I am late to this party of knowledge. 

Everything becomes a pillow in my fading sight. There are times that I am sure I could fall asleep, and stay in that blessed state, if only I were allowed to lay down where I stand and make the room go dark and silent for as long as it takes my head to hit the ground. These moments are many, but pass quickly and turn into more not sleeping. All the minutes in my day become minutes in which I am not sleeping, except for the minutes I am using to try to sleep. Helpful people make suggestions. Tylenol PM, exercise, cough syrup, codeine, a bottle of wine, a shot of whiskey. I smile and nod, tell them I have tried all of these. What I do not tell them is that I have tried all of these at the same time. I am a scientist at night now, mixing all the solutions for sleep in as many combinations as I can think of and recording the results. The results are always the same. 
The clock tells me it is 12:36 in the morning, and who am I to argue? I am not tired, and I am not surprised.