don’t sleep

i accidentally stayed up all night on the fourth of july. jaimie came by at 8pm & we went out to get some dinner. then we drove out to the country, where we attended a huge, weird party with bands & hours upon hours of professional-grade fireworks, which are not illegal in kansas. away from the light pollution of town, i could really appreciate how bright the stars were. & the crescent moon looked orange because it was obscured by smoke from the fireworks.

when i was a very little child & my sister was just barely a toddler, our parents took us to fireworks hosted by the little town we lived in. a chunk of spent firework, about the size of a ping pong ball, fell into the crowd & hit my sister in the eye. she was okay, aside from being a baby with a shiner. that is one of my earliest memories & as a result, fireworks have always freaked me out a little bit. i think they are nice from afar, like last summer in philadelphia, when jared, amanda, & i went to the park & could barely even see the fireworks because there were so many thousands of people that had arrived before us, or the years before that, when jared & i watched the boston fireworks over the charles river. but these amateur fireworks in the country were just being set off by random punk kids with very questionable dread mullets, like ten feet away. they were exploding right over our heads. as far as i know, nothing caught on fire & no one was maimed by debris. but it was really over-stimulating, especially because the fireworks were almost the only source of light at the party–which was huge & spread out all across a big country estate/farm. someone had lit tiki torches along pathways, right next to little trees. i really thought the tiki torches were going to catch the trees on fire too.

jaimie was all, “pretty much everyone in lawrence who is cool is going to be at this party. you’re going to get there & be amazed by how many people you know.” but out of hundreds of people, we probably only knew five folks. which was fine. i don’t really feel like i know that many people in lawrence anyway.

we were among the last few people to straggle out, which i regretted when it came time to drive back to lawrence. jaimie was just trying to reverse the directions she’d written down, & we had gotten lost on our way out, so i was all turned around. i wished we would have left when some of our friends had left so we could follow them back. but eventually we figured out where we were going (thank god that even country roads in kansas are on a grid system) & made it back by 12:30am.

jaimie came in & we just sat around & talked until around 3am. after she went home, i decided to polish off a little writing project i’d been working on earlier in the day, but when i looked out the window after i finished, the sun was starting to rise. i knew that if i went to bed then, i’d just sleep until 2pm & hate myself. so instead i made coffee & got started on a new day. i napped for an hour or two in the late morning, but i’m going back to boston to see jared for my birthday this weekend, & he’s on a pretty normal schedule because he’s spending all day everyday at the historical archives. so i decided to just stay awake until a decent hour & then go to bed & wake up at 8am today.

despite being so tired when i went to bed last night, i slept really badly. it was one of my worst nights of sleep ever. i kept hearing weird noises that i couldn’t totally identify over the sound of the air conditioning, & because i now live in my own little one-story house, i kept thinking it was someone trying to break in. not that lawrence, kansas is really a hotspot for criminal activity, but shit happens everywhere. when i did finally drift off, charlotte woke me up by parading through the house, meowing at the top of her lungs. she’s usually such a quiet, independent cat. she hardly ever meows about anything. but she seems to have a gift for recognizing the times when i really need my sleep, & then she’s as noisy as possible.

i did manage to turn my schedule back around & got up at a totally respectable hour–like 8:30am. but i immediately started thinking about how i’m leaving for boston tomorrow, which means i have to drive myself to the airport, on the highway. i have had to get a lot more comfortable with driving in the last few weeks, because i no longer have jared around to do the driving i’d prefer not to do. i have definitely noticed that i feel a lot more confident & a lot less anxious behind the wheel, & i am getting progressively better at driving things i used to struggle with, like parking. but driving on the highway still makes me anxious. especially when it’s followed up with getting on an airplane. i am not terrified of flying, but it’s a little nervewracking.

i turn 32 on monday & am getting started on making my list of 32 things to do before i am 33 years old. i made a list of 31 things to do before i am 32 last summer, but i lost it when my computer hard drive died in san francisco. i thought i had copied into my journal, but…i guess i didn’t. i wish i had it for reference, because i know there was a lot on there that i didn’t get to, & i am struggling to come up with items for this year’s list. any suggestions? i am stalled at ten items. they are pretty big & exciting items, but at least one of them is so big & life-changing that i am having trouble imagining what my life will be like once it happens & what goals may be reasonable to set.

Published by Ciara

Ciara Xyerra wrote zines for the better part of two decades. She has a brilliant & adorable preschooler named Ramona & sews as much as she possibly can. She lives in Lawrence, Kansas with her boyfriend. She enjoys catching up on "The New Yorker", meatball subs, keeping it cranky, intersectional post-third wave feminism, dinosaurs, & monsters. If you have nothing nice to say, she recommends that you come sit here by her, so you can say not-nice things together.

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