I don't know how long I've been walking but I'm pretty sure I've passed the café. I should turn back but I'm not feeling very confident in my capability to judge whether or not I have indeed passed the café. I am however starting to feel very certain that I'm lost. I hate being lost. Especially at night. I'm sure I'm not that far from my apartment but I can't remember any of the street names that I've passed, and I don't recognize the street sign I just passed. Just because I'm lost doesn't mean I'll turn back though. I've already come so far. Plus I might have turned the wrong way after leaving my apartment and then I would have to retrace my steps all the way back to my apartment and passed. It seems so pointless. Plus I turned on a street and I don't remember which street it was. Truthfully I just don't want to go home. I know if I have to pass that place I'll give up on getting coffee and try to sleep again. Which will end the same way it did last time and I just don't want to deal with that. Does that make sense? I don't think it does? "Great I'm confusing myself now."
I can barely keep my eyes open and it doesn't help that at some point it got really dark. The street lamps on this street are all out. Every single one of them. The buildings don't look to nice either, quite a few are boarded up. The ones that aren't boarded up are still falling apart, chunks of them are scattered on the floor mixed with other debris. I don't think anyone even lives on this street. Which is actually a very unnerving thought. I'm alone. I hate being alone. Not that I like socializing much, but being alone is worse. I prefer more company then just my thoughts. I almost forgot where I was. Not that there is much to forget seeing as I never knew where I was to start with. Still I catch myself leaning against one of the still standing walls and looking at the smashed together floors of a house across from me. The entire wall facing me has been destroyed and I can look in at what should have been rooms, but instead they're a stack of ceilings and floors. I don't know what causes this kind of damage; everything looked fine just down the block.
I really should continue walking. Get out of here. But I don't have enough energy. I can't fall asleep but I'm barely awake. How does that even work? I know I won't be sleeping tonight, but I can't. It's cold. I don't know why I didn't grab a coat. That's not true I was supposed to have coffee by now. Be in a café, warm, no coat needed. Yet I'm still here leaning against a run down wall spacing out. There's something oddly familiar about this place. I just can't figure out what. It makes me feel sick though, being here. I… I can't stay here.
I keep getting so lost in thought. It seems like I'm some place new every time I stop. I catch myself running. Not that I fully understand why. I'm just glad I finally left that place. I'm still lost though. I really need to find myself. Where am I? This place. I can't be lost, I remember these streets. How does this happen. It's funny I've stopped running, stopped walking. I'm just standing here but the worlds still spinning. You know the world is constantly spinning. Even though you don't feel it we're always in motion. I can feel it right now. I swear I can. So slowly barely noticeable but it's there and spinning, moving. Then it just stops.
The scariest thing I have heard all night is my own laughter. I don't when I started but I am. Laughing. I don't know at what, but I certainly am laughing. Grinning. I'm losing my mind. I can feel it, and it's the most horrifying feeling. I'm more lost in my own mind then I am in these streets. I need coffee. I need sleep. I need to know the time. I need to breathe. "You need to calm down Clive." The sound of my voice startles me a bit. The eerie silence of my surroundings being interrupted. It's almost wrong. "I can't stand the silence anymore."
"It's making me lose my mind even more. I feel like I'm dreaming but it's too cold." I laugh more. "It's ok once I find the café everything will clear up." Great now I'm lying to myself. There is no way that this is going to get better with coffee. I need to close my eyes for a moment, rest them. Only opening them back up is difficult and once I manage to get them open I feel like I'm squinting. And I'm getting this headache from the strain. Or lack of sleep. Maybe both. I'll take something when I get home. After coffee.
When my eyes finally adjust I spot a street sign. One that I recognize. Finally I don't feel so lost. I take a moment to take a deep breath. I can get to the café from here. Though I don't know how I managed to get here. It's a decent walk from my apartment. Has to be about an hour's walk, I'm sure of it. Not that my certainty should count for much. I take another breath and smile with relief, everything's clearing up. "I can get back. I'm still me." Who else would I be? That doesn't matter. I can't lose concentration right now. Where was I? Oh yeah walking home. No wait, to the café. Strange I had to pass it to get here.
It's strange when you reach the level of fatigue in which while walking down the street it seems like the buildings are passing you instead of the opposite. There all Victorian townhouses. Packed together. I'm not positive on the colors but I'd guess pastel, it's too dark to tell. Streetlights lined perfectly spaced, as one would assume, along the side of the streets. Every light in the houses off. It must be late. What time is it? Why don't I have a watch? I used to have a watch. I can feel my heartbeat quicken the more I think about the time. Moreover the fact I don't know the time. I have ridiculous fears when I'm running on sleep deprivation.
I run my right hand through the hair on the back of my head and take another deep breath. "Concentrate." I've found I like ordering people around. Not so much being ordered around. I have no idea how I feel about ordering myself around though. I do not want to lose my sanity. The less sleep I get the more I feel like I'm losing myself though. "Stop." More ordering myself around. Maybe it'll work, "Concentrate on going to coffee." I run my hand through the back of my hair again, "You are not going insane. You just need coffee." Sleep. I need sleep, not coffee. I think I may be arguing with myself. Great.
Where am I? I got lost in thought again. I stop walking and look around. Have I passed it? No. Not enough time has passed for me to have passed it. In fact I'm still on the same street. Right? I look around to find a street sign, it can't be right though. This street looks the same as the other one. Why does everything have to look so similar! No wonder I got lost earlier. These houses all look exactly the same as the other street. I hate conformity. That's a lie. I like some elements of conformity. Some. Not identical houses and streets. I'm far to sleep deprived for everything to look this similar. Not that it matters much I just need to see the street sign. Though it's hard to focus on street signs in the dark. I keep having to blink several times to clear my vision in order to focus. This is killing me. Doesn't matter as long as I can read the signs though. I'm going in the right direction.
I can smell the coffee. Or I'm delusional and it's a form of an olfactory hallucination. Which is kind of worrisome. I'm pretty sure it's the café though. The next street sign I see confirms this. That walk went faster than expected. Or not, seeing as if I hadn't passed the shop and gotten lost I would probably be back at home by this point. It wasn't a bad walk though. That's a lie. It was a pretty bad walk. I got lost. I laugh to myself again shoving my hands into my pockets and enter the café at long last.
It's odd how comforting it can be walking into a familiar place. Puts my mind at rest. My eyes don't want to adjust to the yellow glow of the shop. I have to blink several times before they adjust. Even then everything seems hazy, as if I'm looking through some distorted surface. I rub my eyes to clear my vision. Its ineffective for the most part but after closing my eyes for a moment I finally get them to focus. Of course another customer is now staring at me. Nosey judging asshole. Ignoring him I walk up to the cash register. Standing behind two other customers of course. I'm always waiting in line here. Honestly how does that even work. Really.
Because I need sleep, and my night wasn't bad enough already, both fellow customers take their time conversing with the barista working tonight's shift. Not that I have anything better to do then stand in line. I use the wait to look at the clock hanging on the back wall, I haven't checked the time in a while. 45 hours. I was walking for six hours? It didn't seem that long.
When I finally get to the register the Barista offers me one of his fake smiles, "What would you like tonight Clive?" I can tell by the way he says my name that he doesn't want to be here. Also that he hates me for coming in every night thus insuring he will in fact continue to have to work the night shift.
His names James. Not that he's ever told me that, nor have I ever asked. It's just printed on his name tag. "Espresso." I return his fake smile, looking from his name tag to his eyes. They're not even bloodshot. Why is he so upset about a night shift when he gets to sleep. He has no idea how lucky he is. All I want right now is to get some sleep. Not that that will happen.
James and his attitude push some buttons, take my money and get off to making my beverage. I am now left to lean against a wall and staring at the other four people in the shop. Four people who manage to take up all three of the tables this place has. I find myself running my hand through my hair again and looking at the man who was judging me when I first walked in. He's got an easel set up on the table and all these different paint tubes scattered around on that small table. Artists, that's one kind of person whose up at odd hours of the night I guess. I don't like him.
"Clive, drinks up." I hate how much James seems over his job. Also the way he watches as I take my drink and doesn't look away until I pretend to sip it. Now that I have coffee I don't even want to drink it. Actually its espresso. There is a difference I'm sure of it. I just can't quite remember what it is at the moment. I would love to sit at one of the tables at the moment however the other man sitting by himself has taken three chairs to lay down on and has about five empty cups on the table in front of his makeshift bed. Lucky asshole is actually sleeping. In a coffee shop. Who does that? I don't like him either.
I down my espresso and move my gaze to the last table where a man and a woman sit. Lovers I presume. All they do is look into each other's eyes and laugh at what I assume are jokes of some kind. I don't really understand why they can't do that at home. Everyone here is so frustrating. Then again maybe I'm just irritable because I'm tired. I don't care. I hate them all. And I'm over waiting for a table. I'm over everything. This caffeine isn't waking me up. It isn't doing anything. I just want to sleep. I should go home. I need to go home. I don't want to go home. I'm going home.