It comes creeping round my door from time to time, often in the late hours, before slumber overtakes my mind.
I have come to recognize it, welcome it like an old friend. I try to shoo it away, with books, or television, or the iPod. But it is the definition of stealth; all it has to do is bide its time.
Pills temper it. I wish I could will it away on my own. Such is life.
If I am honest, I must tell you that I often seek an escape, a place to lose myself, an ocean in which to swim. Baseball in the springtime. Sweet music on a Sunday night. John Wayne westerns and John Updike novels. Don Williams and Dvorak. Chocolate ice cream on the patio when the sun sets in the summer.
It is a wonderful thing to soar like an eagle. It is a nightmare to drown in despair.
Good conversation is something to savor; like fine wine, it helps too.
But the clock ticks toward the quiet hours. I think of regrets, though I've had but a few. I lament the too-quick passing of time. I remember her pretty, nervous, vulnerable eyes. I devise a plan to herd a few words. I try to sleep.
Still, it keeps me company, this nighttime companion, often clasping me in its grasp until the first streaks of dawn.
And then I sleep, losing myself in my dreams, again seeking a temporary stop before the journey begins anew.