July 19, 2006

I am awake – again. It’s 4am and every clock in the house is ticking the night away as if to remind me:- you’re not, tick, asleep, tock, tick, tock, tick, tock, life is passing by the clock/ tick, tick, tick tock. Does it sound funny? Do you think my light-hearted approach means that it doesn’t matter? A tick here and a tock there and never mind because if it were a real problem there’s no way that I could make it sound superficial and let’s face it who would want to bore anyone to death with a chunter about sleeplessness. Does anyone care? Do people who sleep well care as they slip into their nightly rapture of unconscious being; crisp, cool linen sheets, a window open to welcome the night breeze and the waft of summer blossoms. Oh, so delicious, the body easing its way into the exquisite embrace of rest, comfort, contentment…oblivion.

What is it like? I mean, you know, sometimes it’s happened to me so that’s how I can describe it but what is it like to know that you will fall into it every night, for free, like a divine right that you take for granted. You see I long for it, natural, non-medicated, sweet, honeyed slumber. There is such a yearning inside me, a craving, a need to find the elixir that will give me absence from myself and plunge me into that other place where the only visitors are dreams. A place where I can take my extreme exhaustion and have it soothed away until the weariness is so refreshed it no longer rears its ugly head and I don’t have to take it with me everywhere like a giant, invisible rock that weighs me down. In case you were wondering it does, weigh me down I mean; I try to stay quiet about it because, let’s be honest, it’s boring. If someone reads this they don’t have to meet my gaze and be polite wishing they were somewhere else, they can just switch off and go blogging.

                  Blogging. That’s a funny sounding word don’t you think. Or possibly just a fun, modern word for serious modern techno-geeks. I have tried to use it instead of sheep which are truly old hat and nursery class. It doesn’t work, it doesn’t work any better than sheep or ducks or any other exercise people suggest in a vague effort to open the portal to the land of nod. If anything it’s worse because I start making word puzzles out of the word ‘blog’ – you know, blog to bog and cog and log. Log to cabins, cabins to lumber, to Jack, to firs, to Christmas and on and on. The night passes, dawn breaks, I am still awake but at least I have sorted out gifts for the festive season with 6 months to spare. What a shame that my tired brain will forget those brilliantly appropriate presents by tea time. 

                                             Self-help books. I wonder how many people scour the shelves of book shops and supermarkets looking for the all encompassing self-help, read me and you will start your brand new life at 10:09am Wednesday, must have book. Some people swear by them, actually tell anyone who’ll listen that, ‘Take my Hand’ completely cured them of their acute fear of air travel, number rituals, snake phobias and more or less any complaint you care to mention. You think I’m being disparaging don’t you? You think that I sneer at these tomes of wisdom and pass them by because if science doesn’t work or a warm bath and a quiet mind or warm milk and meditation I’m just not going to be interested. You genuinely think that I wouldn’t touch them with a barge pole. Well guess what – I’ve read them all, I’ve tried all normal, weird, medical, strange and even plain loopy suggestions to see if it will conjure up sleep, pure, luscious, melt in the mouth sleep. That thing that people have when they stretch their arms, blink their eyes, look round the bedroom wondering about the time and smile, that gorgeous inner winner wonderment of waking to a new day. Philosophical poser; if there is no sleep between one round of 24 hours and the next 24 hours is the day new or a simple continuation of time passing?