The World Inverted – Homage to Elizabeth Bishop’s “Insomnia”

The picture reads: “Do something every day to remind this city why the hell you’re here.”


I once imagined what it will feel like to live in a world inverted, a world where left is always right. A fantasy world where everything wrong about me will for once be recognized to be right. A world where I could reclaim the self-confidence that I once lost. A realm that could only be accessed through the door of dreams.

I have always imagined that there was more to the idea of sleeping. When we were created, God could have totally made us into sleepless creatures. In that way, we could develop twice as fast, and deplete the world’s resource thrice as fast. I always imagined that sleeping is just a medium for us to journey to the world inverted and forget about this bland, emotionless, and meaningless world we deem reality.

In the world inverted, creativity is cherished. A world where unicorns exist, not just some fat rip off version that lives under the sea. The ground is made up of cotton candy. Not just any cotton candy, the pink ones. You can walk on rainbows, ride giant pandas, sleep on to of polar bears and use penguins as cushions. In the world inverted, naivety is favored.

In the world inverted, love and romance is a thing. You could fall in love with someone and you know for sure that it is mutual and real. You could feel so warm and fuzzy that the cotton candy ground melts. You could intoxicate yourself and be totally fine with it because you know that even if the ground melts, you will be safe. In the world inverted, safety is a given.

Yet the formation of this idea we call ‘sleep’ was destined to be paired with ‘wake’. When God created the world, he separated day and night; just as so, he separated the world from the world inverted. But we were originally from the world inverted. When the apple was eaten, creativity crumbled, naivety covered herself, love was taken away, and safety was no longer to be seen.

Time after time, I asked myself: “Why am I here?” I shouted into the oblivion and nobody responded.

Bishop cheated. She left us teases about the world inverted and went there herself. Every time I go to the world inverted, I asked her to bring me with her. She smiled and mouthed something to me, which I could never make sense of. I put my head on her laps, and she strokes my head gently as I wake…

Sleep… my child… sleep… she lulled,

Sleep… sleep… sleep…


I know.

I will.

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