Let me number these things as a semblance of control and order.
First, I want to write “Firstly” because it goes best with "secondly," even though we know I should just write first, second, third.
2. Or secondly. Or second. Last night I fell asleep alone with my arms wrapped around myself. Sometime during the night, I noticed I had rolled over, away from my own self.
I was awakened by the sound of nothing, which was the third thing I noticed, in which case thirdly does not work. The room should have been filled with the sound of gunfire or screaming from the television. Instead, there was a pause between murders and infomercials and election results and emergency weather alerts and the talking and the talking and the talking.
I did not know where I was.
4. I fall asleep with the television on, listening to true crime shows. I used to listen to the news, but it was too violent and gave me bad dreams of people talking into the nothingness, creating blue flickering forest fires of words they could never take back.
sometime after turning off the television, I noticed the dampness of my pillow for which no amount of folding and unfolding could yield a spot of cool dryness against my cheek.
Lastly, I folded myself into a yoda-origami of nothingness, making more room for myself while hoping that I didn’t notice myself or hold too tightly to myself alone in a sea of white flannel sheets.
In my loneliness, I turned the television back on and, with eyes closed, listened for the world to burn.