The rain. The rain. It has been coming down relentlessly for days. Their is also a strong wind that blows over plants and creates a haunting sound in the trees. I sit on my bed watching nature play out its stormy dance in my back yard. I have not worked for months and am at a loss when I try to figure out what to do with my day. Normally, I come up empty and return to the thick blankets of my bed and beckon sleep to come upon me one more time.
This morning I got out of bed late. Last night I could not sleep. I ate eggs for breakfast and sat in front of the rain filled window watching wind blow violently against the ground. This latest storm has been like no storm I have seen in California for some time. I took a long shower and washed away my worries with cinnamon soap. My home is freezing cold and wind chimes refused to be silenced by the storm.
There was a knock at my door. “Excuse me sir but I have a favor to ask you.” Before me was a middle aged man with gray hair who was dressed in a black suit that was soaking wet. He had no umbrella nor did he seem to mind his current condition. “What is it?” I asked wanting to be of help. I noticed that his eyes were excessively blinking and he was having some difficulty getting his left check to relax. “I need to ask if you have ever heard of a cure for Xenodochium?” I was confused and asked him to repeat himself. “Xenodochium?” I had never heard of this, I told him. “We’ll, let me tell you, it is my cross to bear my constant affliction. It is with me at all times. never goes away.” “I am sorry to hear this,” I said and asked him if there was anything else I could do for him. The wind was getting hostile and the rain was blowing onto me and getting the inside of my home wet. I tried to shut the door.
“Xenodochium, is caused by a fear of sleep. Why do I fear sleep? I used to love sleep, but over time I have become terrified to fall asleep,” he said holding out his hand to prevent me from shutting the door. “It is an unpleasant disorder that causes my eyes to constantly blink- with my eyes always blinking I can never get to sleep. It keeps me in the dark- condemns me to a fate of lonely sleeplessness. You are looking at a man in hell.” He said wiping away water from his face. “I am very sorry sir, but I am trying to understand what you need from me?” I said a little frustrated by this sudden invasion of my space. “I need for you to understand sir,” he then said. “I need you and all your neighbors to understand how alone I am.” HOW WAS I TO RESPOND TO THIS? What could I do but offer him proof that I understood so that he would go away.
He finally did go away, but under quit unpleasant pretexts. “You will never understand because you care only for what is yours. You don’t know what it means to live in a constant state of wakefulness because you have never had to. I will see to it that one day you all understand,” he said with a tone of indignation and then walked off into the storm. Later this afternoon I saw him making his way through the trees and rain in my back yard. He was now wearing a long black coat and smoking a cigarette. He is probably sitting someplace down by the river behind my home. I have called the police to come investigate further.