Wake Up – Part One
He wakes up, and he already knows it’s hit him. Somewhere in the drunken half-sleep between 2 AM and… what time is it? He’s come down. He can never pinpoint the exact moment that it hits, and doubly so when he’s asleep. Dreams seem to take on a vivid turn, though, and he always wakes up feeling empty.
What were we dreaming about today? Something involving hippie women. A gathering somewhere? That concert you were dragged to when you were ten? Well, the dream version of it. Everything was going alright, until…
Holes. Black holes. They popped up everywhere in the dream. Like they were punched through space in time, obliterating everything in Herman’s head until there was only blackness. Terrifying, but it’s happened before. There’s always a rush. A certain exhilaration one has no choice but to feel when falling a long distance. Like skydiving, he assumes. Then the adrenaline leaves the system, leaving nothing but emptiness. This is where Herman is. Hello, world. Please buzz off.
Sludge. His blanket is tar, mud… you name it. So are his sheets. His shirt. His skin. His bones. Just an entity that refuses to move, thinking of all the times he screwed himself over in social situations. He didn’t come home with anyone last night. Thank god. Last night, the idea of getting lucky was wishful thinking. Now… well, he shouldn’t be around anyone in this state. Especially in the morning, when he gets to thinking to himself.
You were taking your meds. What happened?
I crashed. What do you want from me?
…You’re sure we took the meds, right?
Yeah, I’m sure. They’re still new. They need time to build up in the system. Unless… no.
What? …Herman, what?
It can’t be.
Use your words, Herman!
…One of the side effects of anti-depressants is depression. “Depressed mood,” actually. I don’t know if that’s the same thing, but-
“Depressed mood?” What is that, a loophole that doesn’t mean it’s straight up depression? “You’ll feel better, this is just a side effect? Keep taking the meds?”…Jesus fucking christ. Alright, well… we might as well get up. We have work today.
Herman? Did you hear me?
…So get up! …Oh my god, you-
The critical side of his brain keeps talking, but he gets to thinking: what happened last night? Nothing major. The high-end bars. Before that, the drinks at someone’s high-end apartment. Before that- that’s right! The sale! At least the deal went through before the depression hit. Fuck. Why does he have to be this way the day after the money’s confirmed? The joy and excitement of finishing a 4-month venture, all washed away by his own mind’s inner workings. Somewhere, in all that, there’s a proverb about money.
Then the thoughts come in. A bullet. Straight through the head. Breaking his window. His body stuck staring at the ceiling in a perpetual lifeless gaze. This will be his mental through line the rest of the day. It’s been worse.
Alright. We need to get up. Work today. God, why did we drink on a Monday? I mean, I know why we drank on a Monday, but what’s the point? If I knew the depression would hit this morning, I would have just waited until Friday. Drink the emptiness away, congratulate yourself for surviving the week!
Don’t think like that, Herman. You can’t predict this shit. It’s ebb and flow. The high tide’s gone, now you’re left with the low. Actually, there’s nothing wrong with low tide itself. More sand to walk on. And it’s wet. It’s sturdy. You think better this way.
Did you just relate my condition to sand on a beach?
…it makes sense.
Herman has not moved a muscle since he woke up, but he finally moved his eyes to see how long he was out. Seven fifty-three. Alright. He definitely got wasted last night. He’s part of the group of people who can’t sleep after drinking, and now he’s remembering that he woke up three different times during the night. Definitely no woman present. Damn/Phew. Either way, in one hour and seven minutes, Herman will be expected in the office. And he still hasn’t moved an inch.
There is precisely one motivation for getting up: the Sun. Soon, it’s going to rise over the building in his view, and burn straight into his eyes, rendering him blind. Still, this doesn’t feel like enough to get up. The sludge doesn’t thin out at all. He recalls when he once stared into the sun at age 7, just to see what it was like. Then he remembers he needs to get his glasses.
Get up. I know. I know, Herman, just… you can do this, alright? You’ve done it before, this is always the worst part. You don’t even like lying in bed. This is just you, already used to the stink of your own shit pile. Just… for me. Come on.
You know what I’m thinking about right now?
…Come on. Stop it.
Boom. Headshot. Sniper rifle. Ceiling view. Why do I keep thinking about that?
I don’t know. But you need to get up. Lying here’s not going to do anything… Herman? Herman!
Alright. Fine. I’ll do it for us. Just be quiet for 5 seconds. Ugh, god. I hate this part.
I know. I do too.