No Napping!

Today was a good day. It really was… The weather is what many would likely describe as “perfect.” During the day the sun loomed brightly overhead casting forth an oven-like bake towards the wayfarers below. Now, settling into the early evening the clouds have begun to elicit the help of a setting sun so as to paint their rounded edges with a brilliant pink and orange, filling the sky with a tapestry unmatched by any mortal’s skillful brush. The heat remains, but more-so in a welcomed way as opposed to that of a lingering houseguest. A perfect day, a beautiful evening. A matrimony of A.M. and P.M.


I made sure to get out of my house and acquaint myself with the sun for a little while today. I did so by running a few small errands around the neighbourhood. With the warmer months comes the city orchestra of ubiquitous construction and rumbling hoards of motorcycles. The dueling engines of Harley’s and Kawasaki’s tear through the streets. Shops have placed little tables and chairs outside of their establishments so as to cater to those whom wish to dine while remaining immersed in this summer city.


When I had, had enough of the sun and after procuring some groceries, I traipsed home. Walking along the waterfront. Once home and within the cool confines of my apartment, I put the groceries away, made myself a sandwich and sat down to read a new book that I had recently picked-up. Yessir, today was a damn good day…


At some point while reading the eloquently worded pages of my book, I dozed off. I am not sure for how long nor can I tell you what I dreamt about (or if I dreamt at all). What I can tell you about is the wake-up; if you do not have PTSD, it is likely that you have never woken-up this way… that is not said to make you feel bad nor infer that you cannot possibly understand, not at all… I say that in hopes that after reading what I am about to tell you, you will come to understand just why I fucking hate it so much!


As adults, we juxtapose from that which we used to hate as kids – naps! We now love naps, right? I am no exception to this rule, of course I like naps! What I hate, is when my preternaturally wounded mind bleeds memory into slumber. When the blood of trauma seeps in-behind my eyes.


I was awoken to the pernicious perfume of smoke. Deep within the back of my nostrils, an odorous scent slathered itself to the lining within. This may sound funny, but to those whom have ever smelled the wafting plumes of an uncontrolled structure fire that is actively claiming lives, you will know what I mean – it smells black… it just does. There is no other way to describe it. Deep, dark and evil. That was the unrequested alarm clock going off within my nose; the smell and taste of the Reaper’s smoke. With that grotesque olfactory stimulation, my eyes shot open and took the shape of tea plates! Something was on fire, something or… someone… That was my first thought. And I was right… in a way…


As the fog of obfuscation lingered, my nose tracked the smell. Still lain atop of my couch, I rotated my head to follow my investigating Sherlock schnoz. To my horror, the investigation was brief – crumpled over mere feet from me was a disheveled man, covered in soot and ash. Glowing embers of a dragon’s breath sparkled atop of his skin like stars to the sky. How the fuck was there a burning man in my living room?! The sight of this continuously smoldering man increased the potency of smell within my nose. I could feel myself begin to cough (even though consternation had stolen my ability to breathe). My eyes, now beginning to push the limits of stretching skin, fixated on this bizarre discovery. The smell got worse and worse and worse still… right up until the point… where I woke-up…


I was now actually awake. Fully awake and alert. In front of me was nothing but hardwood flooring. No burning man. The two things that remained stickily heavy were: mass confusion and the scent of a Reaper’s smoke… I could still smell the smoke! As time slowly passed and I became more awake and aware, my ears alerted me to the sound of a nearby fire alarm – my neighbour’s. He must have been cooking something and that something was now teasing the smoke detector… and my nose…


I had fallen asleep, that’s true. And while I was asleep smoke from whatever failed culinary cuisine migrated into my apartment and then further invaded my nose. My body’s recognition of that scent set off a chain reaction of traumatic memory. My weary mind and PTSD brain brought back a man that I had once pulled from an apartment fire in the city’s downtown core. He too was crumpled and covered in soot and ash whilst glowing with kisses from a dragon. Somewhere in-between sleeping and waking, my traitor of a brain placed him before my eyes once more.


That is what is so maddening about PTSD; a simple and benign thing such as a bad-cook, can set off an avalanche of torment, no matter how great a day it is…


Needless to say, I am more than awake now! The smoke is gone, and that burning man is once again stored somewhere deep within the back of my trauma brain. Hidden and waiting…


How’s that for a fucking thing? PTSD can even ruin that which we as adults now cherish – naps! For today, my nap is over. I am not happy about it, but there’s not much I can do about it.


On the up-side, the sky is still picturesque. Maybe I’ll go stare at that for a while. Watch as the glow of the sun meets the calm of the water. Almost symbolic of putting the flames out, isn’t it?


Have a good night everybody.

One thought on “No Napping!

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  1. Matt,

    There is no rest for those wicked thoughts, as you know all too well. But a nap? Harshing the mellow of a fucking nap? That is just plain wrong.

    Peace and smoke free naps

    Liked by 1 person

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