Bay Reflections
Vol. 9, No. 35
August 30 - September 5, 2001
Current Issue
Bay Weekly Interviews John Eisenhower
Dock of the Bay
Letters to the Editor
Bay Reflections
Burton on the Bay
Chesapeake Outdoors
Not Just for Kids
Eight Days a Week
What's Playing Where
Music Notes
Sky Watch
Bay Classifieds
Behind Bay Weekly
Advertising Info
Distribution spots
Contact us

Sleepless in Chesapeake Country
by Christopher Heagy

Where do the moths go when there is no light? Every night when I walk through the front door, hundreds of moths are bouncing around, fighting to get closer to the porch light. If there’s no light, do the moths leave home? How do they find their friends? It’s funny how you think at 2:37am.

Right now everything is dark. Everything is quiet. Another storm knocked out the power.

There is no light, no music, no television. My roommate is out of town. There is no conversation. All I hear is the wind passing through the floor boards and blinds on the porch banging and banging and banging on a broken window.

I am alone. Wide awake and hoping to fall asleep.

I’ve tried to count, but the numbers grew out of control. I’d like to read, but I have no candle. Sunlight is still hours away.

I try to remember songs to pass the time.

“The screen door slams, Mary’s dress sways … Little boy blue and the man on the moon … Come out Virginia, don’t make me wait … Some say love, it is a flower …”

The night only gets longer. Every song is connected to a memory. Each memory has a decision made, a hope lost, a dream or a friend forgotten and a regret remembered. These memories send me spiraling on a journey through my mind and my life.

Sometimes alone with your thoughts is a dangerous place to be.

People say that if you have a near-death experience, your life flashes before your eyes.

This is water torture: My life slowly crawling through my mind at - 2:30, 3:30, 4:30 - on a waxing morning.

Thoughts bounce off thoughts. Every memory triggers a memory. Should I have moved to Ocean City that summer … Where is Keri now … Why did Owen die so young … Why did I ever tell her about Michelle?

No question has an answer.

Why am I here … Where could I be? Where should I be?

The roller coaster is speeding out of control.

What did I miss that I can never get back … Why didn’t I ask… Why don’t I know?

The calm darkness that surrounds me is destroyed by the pounding thoughts in my head.

They’re flying faster and faster. My heart speeds up; my head is pounding.

I jump up in bed. I look around the darkness and try to gather myself. I take a deep breath, lie back down and try not to think.

Nothing, nothing, nothing, I repeat over and over again.

I need to empty my mind. Blank, blank, blank, I scream to myself. I repeat it over and over.

Slowly, I calm down. That little voice inside my head is still fighting to get out, but for a few minutes I am winning the battle and keeping it quiet. I feel the first pangs of drowsiness.

The last thing I remember is fighting that voice as the early morning sunshine peeked through my window. The grogginess of sleep took over.

It’s tough to answer questions in the cover of night. I never seem to be kept awake by positive thoughts. All the worries I have ever had come rushing through.

The moths may stay home in the dark, but something was bouncing around the light in my head.

Copyright 2001
Bay Weekly