I am visiting a friend who lives in an apartment block overlooking the beach. A house of dolls who stay indoors when I’m in the corridors and only leave when I’m not looking. Their cars are hidden and their lives are a mystery. If you pass them on the stairwell they will look the other way. My greets are returned with grunts and mumbles saturated in a fear only animals should posses. The fear of a stranger. What they do not know is that they are no strangers to me. For you see the walls of this dollhouse are paper-thin. One can hear intentional secrets spoken loudly on purpose. Above me I hear a man or a very frustrated woman pacing. This is not our first meeting. It is thirty three minutes past midnight and I am a voluntary insomniac. I have chosen this path because sleep is too frightening in the dark and life is too frightening in the light. Below me I hear the static of a television left on for obvious reasons. The ocean is loud. How could one fall asleep to the sound of silence enveloped in distant winds and rumbling crashes? Give me sirens and engines and horns any day before you ask me if I prefer the tranquil of nature. I am a child of the city. I have grown accustomed to the light that reflects off shards of shattered windscreens from cars owned by sober drivers, insomniacs themselves watching from above. Here the sky is a different kind of black, a milky molasses with traces of glitter strategically situated to give romantics a reason to live. This world is a painting where mine was graphically designed. Here there are curves and squiggles and blotches where I just have dots and lines. I long for my concrete jungle but that longing is beginning to dissipate. I could get back into this country life groove. The greener greens and bluer blues. The only thing I miss is my bed. I am a more comfortable insomniac in familiar surroundings, blanketed by familiar fabrics. The air is still. More silent than I have heard it all week. The woman above is asleep now or her legs have grown tired of bashing the floor. The television below still hums and the tick of the clock beside my bed has replaced the bang of the feet above my head. A realization: I am the insomniac above.