Sickness Without Slumber

Photo of author taken by bugbear in North Riverside.

Sickness Without Slumber
Written by Nickolaus A. PacionePhotograph by Erica Thompson

Understanding is what sits alone within our torments. The thoughts that would remain as I would hear my own footsteps going up a long, narrow stairway – which is a dark, midnight blue as the winter night. I was trying to make my way to a sleeping room that I had tried to check into – though the sounds of the many flooded the paper thin walls. It sounded as the multitudes from below are screaming to the world of the living, their blood had turned to dust but they look from above – sleeping beneath the ground which I stand. Which I begin to enter a small sleeping room of the hotel – it was about 3 feet wide by 6 feet long, the ceiling was newspaper and chicken wire.

That as I would try to sleep in that room, I kept having thoughts of my claustrophobia – there were no windows in this place, the only thing that was like a window was the ceiling – though I did not do much sleeping that night, laying awake in my sleeping bag looking at the only light bulb in the room – though I was trying to sleep, I could not because I keep hearing the neighboring people walking down the halls. I was waiting for someone to pull out a .22 pistol and begin shooting at everyone. I was in there no less than 2 hours – the horror grew too acute in me because I kept thinking that someone was going to pull out a gun and start firing (nightmares from when someone threatened to shoot me with a .22 pistol – showing me the actual bullet that would be impaled into my chest.)

I had seen that the room had little things looking back at me – the kind that would be there when a nuclear bomb would be dropped and when the humans are erased, they would be the ones that would still remain, brown colored – six legs and keep coming back when they are killed. It is as they would see the things that would go on within the rooms, where they would have all the parolees and mental patients when they are freshly released from either the Cook County Corrections Center or the mental health unit that would be on the South Side of the city. My thoughts began to race from the horror that would come from the beating walls – the echoes of the radio from the other rooms but when I was laying on that bed I could only imagine the room as a coffin and being in a grave that is already been dug up – buried alive are the thoughts that were in my mind.

The horror that would remain in ones mind – looking from the chicken wired ceilings. It would be something that the homeless would come to when they panhandled enough to pay for one night – the walls are nothing more than a prison that locks from the inside. I had hung up my jacket and shirt on one hanger but saw that a cockroach was coming in to where my pillow was. I was thinking, “this is something that could only been written within the pages of Edgar Allen Poe or H.P. Lovecraft. How could a place like this exist – only in Chicago.” It is the darkest notions that would be in my mind when I would pull out my sweats to sleep, one that of a bullet impaling the wall and hitting me as I would sleep – this place – keep thinking of the slain Inglewood girl. The fear had grown into the senses – the thoughts that would be there as one would sit there in the enclosed walls.

That within the thoughts, I had packed up my sleeping bag and got dressed – turned in my key to the front desk. My hands were still shaking from the horror that would be in my mind – the thoughts within a bipolar imagination. I could not begin to imagine that this was close to what would be a coffin – how the walls of the windowless walls would have a coldness to them – one that would be chilling to the human soul. It was that coldness that had left me numb – the kind of numb that I had felt when I was stabbed the night of February 9th of 1999, it was a cold winter – one that would be of the longest night. The sharp pain of a sharp object impaling my head in repetition – hell is in repetition. The picture of the loop holes from Iowa’s justice system – giving the mother fucking bastards community service for attempted murder, another goddamned slap on the wrist.

As I had walked out of that barren place, I started walking along State Street to a nice hotel but I was too disturbed to sleep because of the picture of the men’s hotel was still in my mind – still fresh in my mind. I was awake that whole night – ordered the movie titled The Cell and tried to night cap with some whiskey and cola. Though I was not able to sleep so I was just laying awake in bed – thinking about the men’s hotel and the picture within one’s mind would be similar to one of the places that I had once stayed in Iowa. The rooms in Iowa, the place was above a bar that was fairly run down.

The place was similar – rooms small as something they would use to store a corpse after it had been murdered. Understanding as one would look into a mirror – they are looking into the windows within the soul. Hallow-eyed thoughts that would remain as one would lay in the hotel bed – awake, as one would have the light of the TV glowing with The Cell on the screen. The thoughts that would accompany one as they would lay there in bed, zipped into the sleeping bag – is that what they had seen of the men’s hotel was nothing but a harrowing nightmare, but as one would be coughing because of the flu, trying to get doped up on pain killers to numb the body aches.

Understanding – the thoughts that would be, the tormenting horrors that would be of the men’s hotel. The thoughts would be of a claustrophobic nightmare – but one that would be as they are awake, waiting for the sound of a gun to fire or for some sick mother fucker to break down a door and slice open ones throat through the chicken wire ceiling. Anything and everything was racing in my mind that weekend – having to pick up a box of sleep aids, Nyquil, and Bayer PM. All I could think about when going to commuter trains was that barren place known as the men’s hotel. The horrors that would be in my mind of the imagination within my eyes – that I would ride that train to Winthrop Harbor, I was thinking of many things, including my trip to Canada on December 4th, I had gone hiking but senses were weak from the sleeping pills. I had found a place which no one was around and pulled out my sleeping bag.

The air against my face was cold – it was a damp cold from the lake, though it didn’t really bother me because I was too exhausted to care. I was asleep for a good three hours but those hours felt like days, because when I was asleep, I began to have a dream about the car accident that I was in four years ago. I was sitting on the passenger side of the car – it was about 11:30 PM, I was looking along the side of the window at Lake Michigan to the Marina. It was then there was a thud – the side of the car got smashed in, a young woman smashed into us. She wasn’t going full speed though – if that was the case I would not be here typing this or would not have the ability to walk. It was the impact that I heard in the back of my memory – that force that made me jump twice in my sleeping bag, I felt as my body was dropped at 100 feet in the air.

I had awakened – gasping, my skin was clammy to the touch. Though I tried to fall back to sleep again, I couldn’t. I then ventured to a local eatery – to figure out the area that I had got off the train at. I hiked for a good two hours when it started to snow – then I made my way to a quaint place, a small studio apartment type motel. Once I had checked in – I could not remember falling asleep but I fell into a long dreamless sleep. I had woke up it was already night – but could not tell what time it was, I woke up coughing from the flu and was reaching for the Nyquil. Then I grabbed a few pills then I was back asleep again – the sleeping bag was unrolled and I was laying on my side. The next thing that I knew it was daylight – it seemed so inviting because of the sleepless night on Friday. I had then tried for the train again but missed it – then I had sought out another motel, this one was one that would invoke a couple to have sex for a few hours and leave.

I word it like that because it had a mirror the full length of the bed. I had tried to crawl into bed but couldn’t sleep – was too sick to sleep. I had fallen asleep for two hours with the television on, then came 7:30 AM – I was packing up my backpack, sleeping bag and was getting my street clothes on. I was walking for about 20 minutes – about 100 feet from the train and it left by the time that I had got there. I thought – tomorrow. I had then checked into another hotel – set up camp and got changed. I was going make the best of the situation, it was a long day but in a hotel that was nice – that time seemed to pass quickly. I had fallen asleep about 3 AM that morning – the TV was going with the weather channel on there, was trying to find something boring on so it would put me to sleep. I feel asleep in the sleeping bag that I had packed across the length of the bed – dressed to go for the train the next morning, but instead of waiting for the train, I called for a taxi to take me down to Waukegan, Illinois, there I caught the next train into the city.

But that night, I did have another dream – this one was invoked by the men’s hotel and the stabbing last year. I had dreamed that I was laying in the bed of the room that I had checked into – the lights had been turned off or was blindfolded while someone was running a razor across the back of my head, in the same place where I got stabbed. I kept hearing someone saying that I would continue to bleed if I don’t turn back to God. I tried to move my arms but they were bound in a sack, I had no choice but let them cut me. It was a horror that was beyond description. I was bleeding but not to the point where I was going to pass out – as I continued to bleed, I had awakened back in the hotel bed – still laying the length of the king sized bed. The lights were out and the only light was from the television in the room.

It was about 5:30 A.M. when I awoke from the dream – I was unable to fall back asleep though I had managed a slight nap a few hours before I had to check out. Coming home it was a long day – because I was carrying the backpack; had to weigh about 38 lbs when full, but I thought that I would stop somewhere to get some lunch. I had crossed paths with a runaway from Kenosha, Wisconsin, I was in a dilemma where I could get handcuffed for helping a minor, but it was something that was clear sailing. It was a quiet ride back to Chicago from the subway thinking about the weeks that were to come when go up to Canada. Thinking of what awaits me in Ontario – fear of the unknown is the thing that drives one to go and do things that would make one think. It is as the darkened blue hallway in the men’s hotel. Our minds would see things as that blue hallway – the five flights of stairs are what lead one into the horrors that would be. The rooms within hallway – appear as prison cells that have residents that are looking back at one, looking back at one with six legs and eyes that see one over and over, the eyes and ears of the prisons that lock from the inside.

By novemberfrost

Those of you that came here -- are asking who is this person. I am a horror writer from Illinois based around the Chicago/Joliet area. Those who may ask about my writings, just go to my website and that would show you everything that I have written over