i know there is gentleness and forgiveness in me somewhere. i know i can regain the kindness and grace that i feel i have lost. i know i can reclaim my life. exhaustion falls upon me like a nightmare but i'm still too awake to sleep and my head is filled with fear and loneliness. my bed seems crowded by your absence and haunted by the knowledge of your presence in his life and the brand new ring on your third left finger. three's a crowd so i'm awake and writing while two phantoms wrestle and grunt in the next room over. i've slept on this couch before, smoking cigarettes in the dark until unconsciousness fell over me like a coroner's sheet. i've ached on this couch before, nerves raw and bleeding as words on pages swim by. tonight i'm sobered, pacing restlessly and waiting for a sign. the clouds roll in from the west and cloak the sky before the sun has time to escape their grey tendrils of enveloping mist. i watch daylight flee as the night pursues, establishing a fresh beachhead, and i take to the hills, a partisan in my own life. and as i leave here tonight, the stereo sings behind me, one last time: i am dreaming of a life/and i am dreaming of waking up.