“The One-Two Punchline” | Novella | Written by McConnaughay | 4 - Mishmashers Mishmashers

“The One-Two Punchline” | Novella | Written by McConnaughay | 4


As some people might attest, the night shift can lead to an awful day’s sleep. The human body is not meant to function this way and it is easy to tell as much.

Jimmy crawled in bed after an uneventful day’s work, the adrenaline of last night’s performance long since expired. He fought the sunlight by folding his pillow into the shape of a taco shell around his head, and tried his best to enter dreamland.

Sleeping was such a strange concept, the way you entered sleep by laying in your bed and staying still, doing your best impression of someone asleep, like you were trying to fool the sandman into believing it a reality.

Jimmy did not have the same problem a lot of adults had when it came to adjusting to the graveyard shift. This might have been for a number of different reasons, but he slept well. He slept well almost always.

As he laid down in his bed, he felt exhausted. Performing at The Laugh Track and working a full shift, his body felt ready to rest. He shut his eyes and slept.

* * *

In a dead sleep, Jimmy awoke; confused and with heavy eyelids. This had happened a few times in his life, and when he did, he knew exactly why. He looked over to the small, plastic container on his dresser.

Since he was a small child, he had grown accustom to dreamless sleeps, of closing his eyes at day’s end and opening them to start the next, all in what felt like a blink. This had to do with the medication he took, which knocked his happy ass out. Jimmy suffered from auditory hallucinations when his medicine was not in effect.

It was not a psychosis. It was not schizophrenia. It was merely a glitch in the system, a small quirk that Jimmy was not at all concerned with. Even the doctors did not know exactly what to make of it.

The sounds were muffled and nonsensical. It was not anything crazy, like his inner madman telling him to go on a rampage, but something closer to a grinding sound that brought a warmth to his throat.

Jimmy rested in bed, staring up at the ceiling. It was too late to take his medicine now, if he did, it would only make him drowsy for the rest of his day. Instead, all he could do was stare at the ceiling fan as it spun around, around, and around, while he waited for the grinding sound in his head to run its course.

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