The Spell of Sleep

It's 12:30 in the morning. My mind is torn in half. I have two priorities which oppose each other like the north & south poles of a magnet: my English essay and my sleep. My brain still works logically, and so I convince myself in a door-to-door salesman style that my essay is more important than my sleep, and so I begin.

I reach for my pencil and discover that it's out of lead. Murphy's Law is as unfailing as homework--it will always be there. I attempt to silently open my bedroom door to a quiet, sleeping home. Creak! I instantly freeze, scanning for any response. My parents tell me that my door doesn't need oiling. Hmph!

Stealthily, I make my way down the stairs, reminiscent of an Indian warrior in moccasins. I scrounge around for lead in my Mother's desk. Finding plentiful supplies, I grab a container and place it on the desk, while restoring the drawer to its original condition. Soundlessly, I steal back upstairs, better than any cat could. Upon reaching my room, I close my door securely, and set about to start my essay, only to realize in horror that I just left the lead downstairs. Sleep has evidently begun to fight for the battlefield of my mind.

After retrieving my pencil fuel, I begin to write. Sleep approaches me as sundown to a day - you never notice the dark until after the sun's gone. My brain gradually clouds over. My senses become hazy. Progress seems as distant as Andromeda--my numbed brain cannot comprehend how far away either one is.

I fight for control. The essay must be finished! I sit up quick as lightning from my slumped position. A satisfactory "tick, tick, tick" echoes in my head as I reassert authority over my senses.

My body sounds a protest and threatens a strike. In compromise, I move to my bed. Sleep exploits this concession. My consciousness approaches the horizon. My hand takes more prolonged breaks from its task, before being compelled into working once more.

The magician's spell is now taking effect. Writer¡¯s block sets in, because my weary mind can no longer follow a train of thought. Expeditions into the wilderness of philosophy, thought, and logic get shorter.

My will musters together only a limited protest. Only Homer Simpson could have made a weaker attempt. Reality begins to fade. The reassuring tick-tock of my clock can be heard as clearly as an atheist hears God's voice. An attempt to decipher the time fails as the hands blur into obscurity.

My eyelids flutter in a last attempt at resistance. My body slumps into the comfort of a luscious mattress and soft, warm blankets. Logic has been switched off as comfort overrides all other desires. My consciousness passes over the horizon into a starry night of dreams. The bustle of the day's work is forgotten in the opaque black of space. All controlled thoughts cease as sleep conquers.

I can do it in the morning...

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