Sometimes I pretend I’m on a boat.

Sometimes I lie in bed, curtains blocking most of the sunlight, fans blowing on me from two directions, and I close my eyes and pretend that I’m below deck on a boat that’s sitting in the middle of the ocean. There’s no other humans for hundreds of miles, and no land in sight. Just me, the boat, the salty breeze, and the water.

This mental exercise helps me to feel closed off to the world, which, for me, is essential.

I have a hard time falling asleep once I start thinking about the world outside of my house staying awake as I let my guard down.

I hear noises. I get up to check locks I’ve already checked. Did I turn off the TV in the living room, or is it paused and burning a random image permanently into the screen?

I might hear a car door slam and monetarily panic as I jump out of bed to peek through the curtains at the goings on outside. Is someone coming for me? Cops? Someone serving papers?

When you’re on a boat, no one is outside. You’ve got complete solitude. And that’s why I pretend I’m on a boat.

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