Page 68 - November 2020
P. 68

November 2020           68

                                          Strategies of Sleeping

                                                 Ben Nardolilli

                  Ben Nardolilli currently lives in New York City.
                  His work has appeared in Red Fez, One Ghana
                  One  Voice,  Caper  Literary  Journal,  Quail  Bell
                  Magazine,  Elimae,  fwriction,  Grey  Sparrow
                  Journal,  and  THEMA.  His  chapbook  Common
                  Symptoms  of  an  Enduring  Chill  Explained,  has
                  been published by Folded Word Press. He blogs
                  at and is looking to
                  publish a novel.

              When Jim came back to his hotel room, his head and feet were aching.  It was
              entirely  localized  at  both  ends  of  his  body,  as  if  they  were  magnetic  poles  for
              pain. There was also a pin in his eyes. As soon as he was able to undo his shoes
              and  lay  down  on  his  bed,  at  least  his  feet  stopped  hurting.    The  swelling
              remained, but the coolness of his bedsheets helped provide a little comfort. The
              crisp pillowcases could not do the same for his head. The pain there would not
              go away. Technically it was a head ache, or an ache in his head. It was different
              from ones Jim experienced before, deeper this time, and it hurt to think. Jim was
              a bit puzzled by this. He regarded mind and body as separate entities, who never
              managed to meet.

              Jim closed his lids and took a series of deep breaths. At least he could try to
              relieve his eyes from their morning over-exertion. He had gone to an art museum
              and the modern wing made them hurt, as if the artists were trying to kick him

              there. The strain was so great he decided he had better go back to the hotel and
              take a nap. Otherwise he would be too tired while going out with friends in the
              evening. At first, there was relief.The pain in his eyes went away and Jim just had
              to  deal  with  the  hurt  buried  somewhere  in  the  back  of  his  head.  Instead  of
              helping, the darkness and the deep breaths only made his headache seem worse,
              as  if  his  mind  was  speeding  up  to  compensate  for  the  end  of  the  visual  feed
              coming through his optic nerve.
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