“I can’t get no sleep”, says the song and I know how it feels.
“Deep in the bosom of the gentle night
Is when I search for the light
Pick up my pen and start to write”
I understand the urge, but this is not how it happens for me, mainly because I’m a stubborn bastard and generally because I can’t see a damn thing without the aid of glasses, and waking up, groping around and putting them on in the wee small hours seems like a lot of bother — so I don’t.
The more I think about it, the more I realise that it’s not the lack of sleep that is the problem, it’s the quality of the slumber that is causing the discomfort.
I get the required number of hours, but at the end, instead of feeling refreshed I feel like I have carried a large person up a steep incline. Sometimes I feel as though I have been fighting and running continuously from the time my head hits the pillow to the time that the fucker with the chainsaw wakes me up (we have a variety of fuckers with chainsaws where I live).
Sleep is and has been for some time, the final (and often the only) refuge from the pain that the world can inflict — a sanctuary of warm embrace.
Part of me knows that it would be better if I woke up — woke everyone up, and wrote, but another part of me just wants to sleep, have fantastical adventures, right wrongs and feel invincible — all things that sleep and dreams can deliver.
Maybe, one night I will try, ‘searching for the light, picking up my pen and write’ but in the meantime, I’m going to pull the covers up tight and do my best to drift off to where there is a possibility of that golden light that makes all things bright.
I bought this clock with the fifty dollar note I found wedged in an old pair of jeans.
We have a new Charity Shop in our area, but I prefer the old one because they don’t always go through the pockets.
Fifty bucks — well washed.
Fortunately, we have polymer bank notes, and they go through a heavy wash cycle and come out the other end looking like a bank-note.
Which is handy.
Finding the fifty was like receiving a particularly generous Christmas present.
The eleven dollars I paid for the jeans was my last eleven dollars.
I won’t have folding money again until the middle of next week. I do have a few coins, but I need them for emergency coffee on my way to work.
Which brings me back to the clock —
No one could accuse me of being a morning person, and like everyone else, I have an alarm on my phone, but my brain is wise enough to ignore it. My brain knows that I need sleep, and it assumes that the sound of my alarm is some kind of terrible mistake, so it ignores it; with the obvious consequence of me running around like a mad person, trying not to be late for my new job.
I’ve been out of work for a long time, and people can smell your desperation when you apply for work; so much so that when they offered me this job, I thought they were kidding.
I was so fed up with being treated like something that had adhered to the bottom of a shoe I said yes to the offer without asking how much they paid.
I’ve since found out, they are not going to pay me until I have worked for them for a few weeks and by the time all the ‘start up‘ costs are removed, there won’t be a lot left over.
Which brings me back to the clock again —
My mum liked to tell me stories about moving to Melbourne with her sister in the 1930s. They had an apartment on the park and worked at a city cafe.
For a long time, they couldn’t afford much of anything except the essentials associated with work.
For a while, they had one fork and a can opener, and they would take it in turns to eat with the can opener.
The cafe opened at 6 am, and they dared not be late.
Jobs were very hard to come by, and due to the lack of labour laws in those days, an employer could dismiss you on any pretext.
The sisters spent their first week’s wages on a massive alarm clock; the type with large bells on the top. They put the clock into a biggish saucepan to amplify the sound of the alarm.
They were never late for work.
Frankly, I don’t know how they slept with the magnified sound of a ticking clock in the same room, but I forgot to ask, and both of the sisters are dead now, so I guess I’ll never know.
So, now you know why I need this clock.
In the end, it did not cost me very much. Things that used to be expensive are now inexpensively made in other countries.
I haven’t spent the rest of the fifty.
You never know what might crop up.
I have to stop now because it is getting late and I have to be up early tomorrow. Clean my teeth, wind the clock and off to sleep.
In case you were wondering, my weekend plans include a visit to that Charity Shop — you never know.