old man sleeps

I was writing last night, revisiting a novel I started nearly three years ago and I wrote more in that one sitting than I had since I began. It became later and later and my eyes started to burn so, I closed my laptop, put away the ashtray, my pack of cigarettes and lighter, and went to bed.

As I lie there on my pillow, the old man who leads the story kept calling to me, telling me where he wanted to go, what he wanted to say and no matter how hard I tried to silence him, he would not stop chattering in my head. I was exhausted, and even the thought of getting back up, getting my cigarettes and the ashtray seemed to tire me even more, so I continued to lie there. There came upon me a feeling of anxiety, my heart was beating so hard in my chest that I could hear it in my ears. I thought to myself, am I making a mistake for abandoning him tonight? What if tomorrow, when I wake, he becomes silent? Which would be a good possibility considering he had a late night, frolicking in my head.

The anxiety soon turned to excitement. I found myself pondering thoughts like, what if this old man is trying to tell me something, what if he needs to be written because, his story will be the last great story ever told, or the last great story ever read? And then, the writer in me began to drift in the idea of a future where books were an endangered species and mine, the story of this old man, was the last book on earth and a band of literary saviors (like Greenpeace for the whales) had one very important mission… to save my book!

That is when I decided that I would stay there in my bed because, I was obviously delirious from lack of sleep and needed to rest. This morning, as I had already suspected, the old man sleeps.

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