Sleep. If found, please return, sadly missed at home. Reward.
Thursday 13th December 2012
Sleep. It’s a gift. If you have it, please help me. I can’t do it. Well, by ‘I can’t do it’ obviously what I mean is I can’t do it very well. If I never slept I’d die, I assume, right? But oh my, I am so bad at this basic human function.
Night time sleep had improved a bit lately but the very wakeful, disturbed and tiring nights are back. The more exhausted I get, the worse it seems to be.
So, I have been experimenting with the nap feature of our human bodies, encouraged by the Queen of the nap: Millington, of course, who else? And one or two other friends whose calmness I admire and if I’m honest, frankly envy. Having installed my human Nap Ap, I am disappointed. I have so far had 2 successful naps (I am not counting two periods of illness in 2012 when napping replaced waking and vice versa – aside from feeling pretty ill, that bit was heavenly). I have had 3 unsuccessful attempts, in which I *writhe about in a tangle of winter-weight duvet, getting more and more grumpy, listening to the noises of the house below, put radio on, put if off, get up for a wee, fiddle about with my ‘phone, get back into bed, rep from * until allotted time is up and I am allowed out – self-imposed rule, there are no actual guards outside the bedroom door.
When I was ill in spring, in the early stages of being ill before the Dr told me I was officially ill and so therefore I was still furious with my body for being so pathetic, I slept on the floor of the dining room. (Not at night). I wanted complete peace and I simply had to lie down – but because I was angry about being ill, I wouldn’t go to actual bed – yes it’s logical, in my head. I was alone in the house – a rare luxury now – so I took the precaution of first locking the gates thus making the garden inaccessible, hehehe – and then the doors. Just in case; I am my father’s daughter. I then shoved the dogs off their hearth rug and using their blanket, slept, like a dog, by the fire. This was amazing, if uncomfortable enough to keep waking me up slightly.
Until a dear and well-meaning friend, calling by to see how I was, and finding herself locked out not just of the cottage but the garden, jumped up and down on the pavement outside a little side window in the corner of the dining room, this window being above head height to pedestrians, and with each jump, rapped smartly on the glass with her fist.
Well, the pandemonium that erupted in the dining room was epic. Dogs, rugs, pillows, blankets, me, all performing cartoon-like physical and vocal expressions of extreme peril and alarm. I genuinely thought, in this order: I am trapped in a waking nightmare, I must wake up properly. I am going mad. My fever is so high I am hallucinating. The house is being invaded by a maddened person and/or beast. Then, finally: I think someone is jumping up at and banging on the side window. WHY THE HELL ARE THEY DOING THAT? The fear caused by that wake-up is, I feel to this day, one of the reasons why it took me so long to recover from that illness. That and my extreme reluctance to attend the GP’s surgery until it – the illness – had a proper grip on me.
Anyway, as the long nights creep by, think of me, knitting by the dim and less than adequate light of a reading lamp, because I don’t want to wake Mark up (more than having someone knitting beside them in bed, listening to the BBC World Service). Don’t waste your time pitying Mark, by the way. Little wakes him and if he does stir, he goes right off to sleep again. I think he may be part Dachshund. It ought to be comforting, even if I am wakeful, to see – and indeed to hear – how deeply and happily Mark sleeps on, but in fact it completely infuriates me. Which possibly says much about my nature, but how I envy the sleepers.