And Allister would wrestle with the thoughts in his head as if he were thinking anything. His synapses were firing and misfiring all over. But, to say that he was thinking of anything in particular was a mistake. There were no philosophies he was mulling over. No algorithm to unfinished algorithm to complete. It simply seemed as if his brain just was not tired, just did not want to go to sleep-like some spoiled five-year-old child.
He would attempt to calm his brain by reading. But, the words would bore him. This was not to say that the author was not skilled. The author could have been Dostoevsky, Dickens. Poe or Shelley. Melville, Tolstoy. Twain or Verne. The words could have been written in neon and they would bore Allister. And not bore in the good sense-the sense of bore that Allister wanted. The one that would droop his eyelids down like solid weights. No, it was boredom in its purest form. Boredom not with the story, but with the pages, paragraphs, sentences, words, letters, and punctuation that made up the story. Boredom in the idea of reading, the idea of doing anything. A boredom so pure that Allister was even too bored to sleep.
There were times when warm milk or ginger tea or a little whiskey would do the trick. But, when the insomnia was strong, it paused for no remedy. Under these circumstances, Allister would resort to solitaire-for most other card games relied on others and all Allister's friends would have long since met with their slumber, shaking hands and dancing with their dreams. Allister would shuffle the cards, while his mind ran in circles. Solitaire had always been something Allister could do even if his brain was mush-which, at times, Allister was sure it was. And so, Allister would play. He would play until lifting the cards felt as though he were lifting rocks and he would push past. He would play until the mug of warm milk or warm ginger tea or warm whiskey was empty or the shot of cold whiskey or cold ginger milk or cold warm tea was mug. And still, he would push past. He had to. Because he could do nothing more at the time. Not read. Not speak. Not sleep.
Allister would shuffle and place the cards in rows and flip the cards in the front and play solitaire. Place the cards in rows and flip the cards until the cards were rocks until the rocks lost their suits, their numbers, their faces, until the rocks were plain and the rows were jagged and out of order and not rows at all. And Allister would play solitaire and play solitaire and play solitaire and play solitaire and play solitaire and play solitaire and play solitaire and play solitaire and play solitaire and asolitartiare and aplayt aialskashglas and apjdalagiuay solgaihataire and plappjgayelk ngmitaire ,asngjkasnkgga sjkljgapjkgpa[ojsknjg[akp odampklaiuatlya[lkatylda[ajsna dan[gakja[jktpak jgnmansjkhadgpajdgklmnsaldk gnapksjkfpadjgkl;a jslgkaps[gkaspla spaklspgasjgpa.pakjsg mpajsgp japsjgaps [gapsf[ap sgk; lakspgkask pkgopasgkposfs ok;alsgo;lsgal;kasg k;las[gpak s[gk[apsfgp[aslg' ;aslg[';aslg[p;a'slg,;a splaspfkaspflapsjgkala jspklasplfkaspldapslfpa lskfpaslfkplasfkpalsfkpa lsfkplasf plaksfplsfp lagkm,smmnmpsolisssssssssssssstaire.