Digital Papercuts [Chapter 2]

Lying in bed last night, listening to the macaronic sounds of rain against the window and waiting for the promised thunder showers that did not come; my mind wandered: a mixed tape of thoughts entered and left my brain. Time seems to slow to a crawl. A minute is an hour. A second becomes a minute. My wife's steady breathing doesn't bring comfort this time; for she is enjoying a beautiful slumber, and I, am not. Her rhythmic pattern reminds me of the constant spin of my longboard wheels rolling on the black pavement, which in turn takes me back to the minefield of spent mortar shell carcasses that litter the neighborhood.

It was the 3rd of July. A holiday in its own right. The darkening sky lit up with a pattern of rainbowed gunpowder and fire. I maneuvered my board through the streets and sidewalks where young children held 3000°F sparklers and ran around—like maniacal asylum convicts—only to stop and write their names or images on the night sky. Graffiti.

The deafening sounds of bass and explosions erupt, causing everyone to look up. The annual fireworks show begins, and as soon as it starts, the finale marks the ending of this short performance. The park is peppered with picnickers and bystanders, which pack their belongings quickly and get into their cars to leave the mess of wasted bottle rockets, bloom flowers, firecrackers, kitty chasers, and other pyrotechnics. July 4th quickly comes and the extent of last night's festivities are shown by the morning sun.

My mind brings me back to the comfort of my bed. Still, sleep still evades me. The dog stirs, shifts, and is asleep again. I check my social networks and news feeds through that invisible silver cord which leads to the outside world—asleep—unlike me.

The covers soon smother me and I flip a leg out to get some cool night air onto my body. 'Humidity' is the next thought. I miss it. Two Junes ago, the heaviness of humidity was promising, and yet, it didn't stay. Lacked. The dry heat came instead. But, summer is summer, and heat is heat. I miss the warmth. Cubans have it right. A siesta in the middle of the day, right after lunch. Cuban humidity braided together with sun and heat warrants a mid-afternoon break to sleep away the sweaty trifecta. In the cool of the evening, the older Cuban men play dominoes as cigar smoke rises lazily into the air. I watch from a far: enveloped by the smells, the tastes, the sights of Cuba. I miss Cuba.

Flotsam. Jetsam. Uncatalogued jibber jabber. Miscellaneous debris. They swirl in my head. Words that make no sense on its own, but together with other fragmented memories that could fill a shoebox of photographed souvenirs of the past; they cut into my brain like digital papercuts.

Little voices enter my skull. Inaudible melodies. They get louder. Muted sounds play with my subconscious. The beeping of the alarm jolts me awake. Thoughts and dreams quickly recede as fast as they flooded me last night. Time slams its full force into me. The rain has stopped. The sun is shining: time to get up. Another day awaits.

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