insomnia: an artistic representation that somehow makes it feel less lonely

If you’re an insomniac these images by artist Paul Davis at will very much resonate. Not so much for the meaning in the squiggles. But the demented aesthetic.


How much do you totally get the hatred you feel for the loved one lying next to you…asleep (HATE HER SLEEP). How come it works for them? How can they be so unaware of where I’m at when I’m so damn hyper-aware of them – their every cell, their every flicker of the eye? Why does sleep work for them, and not me?

I was an insomniac for years. I went for a 6-month stint when I was in my early 20s in which I slept 1-3 hours a night. I went demented – accidentally set fire to my apartment, got pneumonia from sleeping in a puddle…etc. etc. And, to this day, if I’m to be upfront, I find it really tough sleeping next to someone else. I like the IDEA of it. But the reality hurts. Around 4.17am I get to a point where I reckon I can actually hear their cells multiplying. And feel their aura. And see their dreams. And know their fears.

Yes, let me tell you, I’m a BIG BIG BIG fan of sleeping in separate beds most nights. And having separate rooms. Hell, separate houses! Why not? It’s a relatively recent construct for couples to sleep in the same bed – post-industrial revolution. It’s not something that comes naturally to us. Nor is it mandatory to marriage or partnership. There you go.


I like the “blob of recent regret” (see below). It does just hang there, doesn’t it? 2.19am always seems the perfect time to reflect on the dumb-ass comment you made at the end of a meeting.


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