(prompt: ‘comfort’ 17/1/2020)
Many years ago, a neighbour blamed magpies for disturbing her precious sleep. Since her husband’s demise after a lengthy marriage, the magpies congregated close to her bedroom window on moonlit nights, performing a noisy concerto. Maybe they always had. Maybe she slept deeper once upon a time.
At my place, I think my wake-up call is my four-hour bladder demanding attention… and that is so. At first. But after the customary blinking and stretching of eyes and the cobwebs slowly clearing, my mind turns to unanswered writing questions, as always… night after insomniac night. On cue, way out of my comfort zone now, I shuffle over to my computer. This creativity IS a gift and we all know the saying about not looking a gift horse in the mouth. Hmm… BUT in the wee small hours when the body aches and shivers? Standing next to the microwave, counting down interminable seconds until the heat pad will share its fuzzy comfort? The blessing of writer-ability feels questionable at such times.
Other sleep disturbances are caused by unanswered prayers like the famous –
‘From Ghoulies and Ghoosties, long-leggety Beasties,
and Things that go Bump in the Night,
Good Lord, deliver us!’
We suspect and lay full blame on our resident poltergeist for most all that ails us; all that can’t be found; all that goes out of kilter in any way. And we ask, does he wear a skull and crossbones’ adorned bandanna? He should. His timing is diabolical. Always the worst possible moment. Like when I’m far, far away in that mysterious world deep inside my imagination, fingers furiously clicking in a desperate effort to record a multitude of miraculous thoughts ere they slip away. That. Very. Moment… is the one he chooses to dislodge the clothes basket lid and toss it to the floor. It’s only a sideways glance through the door to my Laundry where said basket resides. Too close for comfort when the house has not a creature stirring, not even a mouse! I swear my heart stops… starting again an eternity later so painfully I think my breastbone is cracking up, or my eardrums will burst… or both.
I have the self-same physical reaction when that Prince of Darkness delights in orchestrating his water hammer concerto in our kitchen water pipes in those dead-quiet hours. When called to sort it after a new pump installation, even our plumber shrugged, spread his arms in the air and declared defeat. And walked away, sending a monumental bill within days. Where’s our poltergeist then? we ask mournfully. We would forgive much if he paid for his wayward ways.
Some fellow called Dante once planted a macabre message in our dreams… or was that nightmares?
Abandon Hope, All Ye Who Enter Here
was written on the imaginary door to… NOT Nirvana nor the Land of Nod – but to the never-ending plains of Insomnia (not shown on the World map, but believed to be mid-point between Tasmania and Tanzania).
Image by Gerhard Gellinger from Pixabay
Re-invention as cover pic by Christine Larsen