The Amber Box


I can’t sleep. Not that I’m not tired, I’m always tired now, but when I know they are watching me, it’s hard to fall asleep.

The sodium lights in the parking lot shine through my second story window, painting a large amber colored rectangle on the wall. Sometimes it looks like the window, sometimes it looks more like a painting, but I know what it is; it’s a door. Just like the dark spot in a wall of light is a passageway into darkness, the bright spot in a sea of shadows would be a door from a world of inky blackness to our own.

Sometimes I see them, standing in the door. Their roughly human form a two dimensional silhouette in an amber box. At first I thought it was a shadow from outside. I thought maybe it was some real life peeping tom at my window. If only that were true. It would be upsetting but I could have done something about it. In the beginning I would wake up in the middle of the night and my heart would peter to a near halt when my eyes fell on that human shaped shadow in the amber box on my wall. I would catch my breath and as soon as I could make myself move I would look through the window to find nothing but an empty parking lot and that incessantly humming street light. Turning to look at the amber box I would find only my own shadow, trapped in the glowing rectangle, my hair shaped like my pillow and my posture betraying my terror.

I tried sleeping in the living-room, but my couch is a piece of shit, and the rigidness of the hardwood floors can’t be hidden by a blanket. Now I just lay in my bed, trying not to look, unable to sleep because I know they are there, watching.


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