It is Hard Sleeping in A Cage

Photo taken by Devin Allen (@Bydvnlln)

My heart was pounding like the paws of a panther chasing its prey — it was 5:33 in the morning. I kept waking up in 60 minute intervals. “Why the fuck can’t I sleep?” seeped out of my crusty brown lips. I went to the kitchen to grab a bottle of water, but there weren’t any left. I stuck my dome underneath the faucet, cranked the cold water, and heard my dehydrated insides throw a party. “Damn, I need to start drinking more water.”

I went back into my room and sat on the end of my bed in silence while Big K.R.I.T.’s Drinking Sessions spilled through my mini speaker. After spinning the song a few times I attempted to get some rest. As soon as I shut my eyes, my cousin’s dog who lives right above me squirmed in her cage. Her cage continuously rattled for roughly 35 minutes. Another 35 minutes that’s thrown into my box of sleepless nights. The entire time I was cursing her out in my head: “I hate this bitch. She always trippin when I’m trying to sleep.” “Why did my cousin even get a dumb ass dog?” “I just wish that she shut the fuck up.”

I ended up not going to sleep but taking a small nap until the 7:00am-sun pierced through my curtains. I woke up thinking about Summer. Summer is the dog’s name. I was wondering why is it that she makes the most noise when it’s bedtime, then it hit me.

My sleepless nights lead to random walks throughout the house, shutting doors, faucet turns, and tip-toeing on creaky wooden floors. I’m pretty sure that this keeps Summer from enjoying her sleep, just as much as she keeps my eyes wide open during bedtime.

I realized that me and Summer are both pigeonholed to a prison.

My mind is caged by permanent paranoia — I’m surrounded by bloodshed — When will I get popped by a killer cop and look down from the heaven skies and watch my 24-year-old body turn into a hashtag? — What family member or friend will overdose on fentanyl today? — Who’s gonna jam a pistol to the back of my head when I’m walking to Pizza Bolis? — When am I going to make enough money to move my family out of the trenches? — When will happiness be a day-to-day feeling? — When will I be able to substitute the noodles and crackers with ribs and shrimps?

Paranoia has me in a headlock.

Dear Summer, I too know that it is hard sleeping in a cage.

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