I took pride in being able to fall asleep on a whim. To me, sleep was a choice on most days and not something with a set time or schedule. I had learned I could stretch myself to any hour without affecting the day ahead. I could not be sure if this was some latent exhaustion or debt I had stopped paying long ago. I did not find it hard to fall asleep anywhere; the more peculiarly uncomfortable the situation, the better I slept. This made me the ideal guest for the night, and friends and family often remarked on the same. But some nights were the opposite.
On these rare nights, I could not doze off no matter how much I tried to. I twisted and turned, shifted to the couch, the lounger, and the rug; I laid with my eyes closed for hours, to the point that they tired of being closed voluntarily. My body betrayed me—I felt exhaustion, but sleep would just not arrive. Yesterday was one such night. In the little time I spent in bed, I replayed some old memories, as one often does when idle. At one point, I started to theorise what kept me awake. This analysis itself became the reason for my inexplicable torture. When I saw the morning light peek into the room from behind the curtains, I gave up, got out of bed, and made myself a cup of coffee. It was morning. It had to be. Sometimes, you must admit defeat.
And so, before I began the day, in the fortunate hour of the morning when no one else is awake, I decided to stand on the balcony and watch the town birth itself anew. It is glorious to witness the morning happen, even better when you don’t wake into it but see it happen before you. The birds are there to greet you with their echoing murmurations. In its soft morning mood, the breeze kisses you good morning on the cheek; for a second, you forget you did not get much rest. While the second is enough to last a good twenty-four hours, I stood on the balcony for an hour before walking inside to write.
I stayed outside till the coffee got cold, till the light completely erased the hazy silhouette of the hills, till the birds stopped doing somersaults in the sky, till I forgot why I could not sleep so I could write about it with the cluelessness of an aloof spectator.