In Insomnia

Dear Planet Earth,

I haven’t slept in over 24 hours. Despite everything you’ve heard, it is not easy to fall asleep in a roomful of snoring, smelly soldiers, children, and grandmas. It sounds like a circus here now at Gary Goldberg’s Discount Cars with everyone moving large crates from one place to another or complaining how the large crate they need isn’t right in front of them.

I was able to finally catch up with Dr. Eimer last night. He seemed to be avoiding me ever since the mole men emerged from the drill and I wasn’t shy about telling him.

“Long time no see, doc.”

I found him leaning against the dealership building, staring at the infinite stars above. If I smoked, this would be the cinematic moment when I coolly pulled out a cigarette, and right before lighting it, offered one to my old friend.

“Yeah. Scott. Long time.” He gave me a quick glance, then just as quickly resumed investigating the night sky. We stayed like that for several minutes.

“So. . .” Like many of our past conversations, I assumed this one would soon devolve into him recounting a traumatic memory and end with us both drinking his whiskey in a tent somewhere.

“You’re a smart boy, Scott.” I’m glad someone’s noticed. “I think I was a smart boy, too, when I was your age. Now . . . I’m just a foolish old man with some pieces of paper to show everyone how smart he is.”

This is when he would take a long drag on the cigarette I gave him.

“I said things to you that day — when they attacked — things no old man should ever admit. I still feel, I’m still afraid of dying. I’m sorry, Scott.”

I patted his shoulder. We didn’t drink any whiskey.

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