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Nights are the worst.

“I opened my eyes And looked up at the rain, And it dripped in my head And flowed into my brain, And all that I hear as I lie in my bed Is the slishity-slosh of the rain in my head. I step very softly, I walk very slow, I can't do a handstand-- I might overflow, So pardon the wild crazy thing I just said-- I'm just not the same since there's rain in my head.”

- Shel Silverstein

Nights are the worst.

One o'clock in the morning. I unlock my mobile phone three times within a minute. I look in the fridge, I'm not really hungry; I'm thirsty, but I don't drink enough anyway, so I leave it. I'm restless, start three Netflix series, but end up sinking into the Youtube algorithm and play Quizduell on my mobile. My attention span - a low point. I'm afraid of my bed, afraid of sleeping - finishing another day without having accomplished anything. What am I doing here? What am I living here? I look in the fridge and sit on the couch with my Gouda. I haven't even got a knife yet, I just bite into this block of cheese, no one sees anyway. I unlock my exhausted phone, battery low. "I have lymphoma."

The silence around me squeezes my head. At the same time, I feel like my head is going to explode. I close my eyes, it's droning, it won't stop droning. "It's a typical cancer for people our age." And what if she dies? "The chances of recovery are very good." What happens if she dies? The cheese was half satisfying, by now the smell is making me sick though, I keep eating. I'm scared. I'm scared of this life. I'm scared of my thoughts. I can't hear you, I can't hear you, I can't hear you at all. I'm in my weekend cottage in fuck-you alley. The attempt to plant an earworm in my brain fails miserably. Sure, once you need it. My head, a single pinball machine. I feel so helpless. It's 1:30 by now, what if they - what makes me happy? Distract, distract. What makes me happy, who makes me happy? My pulse beats faster as her face smiles at me tenfold from my pinboard: New Year's Eve, game night, tears streaming down my face, trip to her parents, cinema, that relieves me, my farewell party, theatre performances, I don't make a sound, crying softly I can, my birthday, her birthday, her wedding, that alone is sad as shit, what do I do when she dies?

2 o'clock. The cheese is wet and she is still smiling at me. I don't want to sleep. I just want this to stop, this feeling. Maybe I do want to sleep. Sleep deeply, without thinking, without feeling. "Terrible for the young family" my mother says "Write her something nice every day, she needs you now". She needs me now. But I am not there. I am here, in my living room and I can't move. The only thing that moves are my fingers darting across the laptop keyboard, not stopping to fill the page that was blank two hours ago. She needs me now and I am paralysed. What am I going to do when she dies.

Breathing is good. In, out. That's easy. I'm exhausted, sitting among pictures, leaves and leftovers. Just chaos everywhere. I come to myself, sit down next to me and say: Hey, I'm here. Come on, let's get you to bed, huh? Come on, get up. Come on. I actually get up, lie down under my duvet and close my eyes. I don't care about anything right now. I can't stand anything else anyway.

It's three o'clock. Nights are the worst.


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