15.09.14 (Day 267)
Somnia is a place I go when I sleep. It’s a planet, far, far away. To get there, I travel in a space ship: it’s called Ghost Bird. There’s only room for a few on board, so I only take the people I want with me to Somnia.
Given the almost infinite size of the universe and the number of stars therein, there could well be a planet like Somnia out there somewhere. I just wish I could find it. For my journey in Ghost Bird to Somnia is how I get to sleep; to escape; to be somewhere else, with the ones I love.
Before boarding Ghost Bird for Somnia (and hoping we make it), the Captain’s log from the last few days:
14.09.14 (Day 266)
My brain doesn’t work. I knew that it was malfunctioning (through illness) but it really doesn’t work today, due to lack of sleep. I can’t complete The Guardian cryptic crossword; I can’t solve a “Diabolical” Sudoku puzzle; I can’t complete a level of “Flow” on the iPhone when it’s given to me to complete. If I was asked about current affairs, the only one I could pull to the forefront of mind is the one I’m involved in. I couldn’t say what’s in the news at the moment as I can’t remember what I’ve read in yesterday’s Guardian nor today’s Observer. I can’t think straight. I’m losing the plot. I’m melting down.
Insomnia is a tricky devil to deal with and even more difficult for the outside observer to understand. A simple “Are you okay?” enquiry will invariably be greeted with “I’m just tired”. So, get some sleep? I can’t sleep during the day as it messes up my already fucked up sleep patterns. What may seem logical to some is illogical to me. But maybe that’s the tiredness. And besides, apparently I’m “cute” when I’m asleep. I don’t like being called cute (apart from by one person, to whom it’s a term of endearment; a pet term) no more than I like to be looked at, when I’m sleeping, eating or just trying to get on with something. It’s paranoia and the tiredness makes it worse. I’m self-medicating with the help of my dealer but any break from routine simply invalidates that medication, rendering it useless and making me suffer more. I await a proper diagnosis and some form of unchanging routine but both seem a long way off. I’m breaking up; I’m on the point of collapse through physical and mental exhaustion.
I wish I could take a break by watching endless lowest-common-denominator TV, rather than the challenging stuff I tend to favour and which makes me think. I wish I could constantly play mind-numbing games on a mobile device and not try to work out how they can be beaten. But then I’d find myself amusing. I can’t. This thing in my head won’t stop working. I wish it wouldn’t, in a different way to that in which it currently isn’t.
I wish I could stop thinking. I wish I could stop being challenged. I want to switch it off. I wish I could be brain dead.
There’s a piece in today’s Observer by Barbara Ellen, effectively addressing voyeurism. This is why people watch car crash TV:
Read it. Read it again. Think about it. Look inwards. Question: Is it just me that’s sick? Those in the know, know who I spend as much time as possible with and they know why. Those that don’t bother to ask just judge from their kangaroo court and will pass a sentence of execution if they destroy my special relationship. If it’s quasi-snuff entertainment which they seek, they’ll keep watching. Watching my destruction. Who’s guilty then?
Now read this:
To try to stay awake and having given up on reading news which I won’t recall, I’m trying to write but I can’t even concentrate on my prescribed therapy. So many plans thrown into disarray by lack of sleep: short stories which I have on the story board, recipes which I’m planning to post in a blog, a business to build, other people’s lives to sort out as well as my own. I’m just tired. I need to shut down and be left alone, eventually to sleep, perchance to dream or maybe die. For insomnia can kill by proxy. It’s making me even more unwell than I was.
So I really don’t have the energy to structure this one but I need to get some thoughts down from the last few days, in no particular order of chronology, importance or merit. It’s all a bit mixed up, like my head. I need to record this stuff so that I can remember it:
12.09.14 (Day 264)
I can’t sleep as there are a few people on my mind. So many people with so many problems who, for various reasons I either can’t see or will find seeing them very difficult. I could do with a reverse firing squad, where the condemned is forced to shoot a line-up of innocents.
Still people on my mind. I’ve kept myself busy by reading, writing and planning meals for the host family, using what’s available: there are potatoes still in their original plastic wrapping and therefore growing roots and sweating. Those need to come out. There are eggs with broken shells, so they can be used as well. I see a Spanish omelette coming on. There’s plenty to fill an omelette in the fridge, which will go off if it’s not used (If you don’t open the fridge every now and then, it shouts its opinions on various things; politics mainly).
I’ve been playing poker too (not for real money, alas) and winning. Perhaps a family game of poker later. Family games I used to play: Monopoly, Cluedo, Hungry Hippos… Of the host family, one’s gone out and the other one is still sleeping, so I’ve fed the dog as well. And been bitten for my trouble. An old dog will teach itself new tricks apparently: to bite the hand which feeds it. The dog is white (I’m not racist but I do like my sandwiches cut into triangles and that’s not racist).
Talking of white things (I needed a lead-in but a shoe horn will do), my assumed other half and I continue to help one another out in remote locations where we feel we have to hide ourselves away for fear that the thought police might judge in their kangaroo court and sentence us to execution. Then there’s the dark one (my sister, The Courts) and for both of them, I penned (typed) this:
Pearls of Wisdom
To my two girls
My black and white pearls:
We’re partners in crime
Like Bonnie and Clyde
But together we’re one
Like Jekyll and Hyde
(You know who you are)
My little sister is a girl of wisdom, as exhibited by this sample quote from her:
“We laugh in each others faces
We call each other names.
But I can surely say that ur one of my best friends U fucking cunty panda cunt fuck face!!!!”
She means well and she means the world to me. The Courts is one third of my age, yet three times as wise. She has helped me in the past and continues to do so. I shall be eternally grateful for one piece of advice which The Courts gave me and which changed my life for the better when I heeded it: go with your heart and not your head, even if your head tells you that it’s wrong. If you go with your head, you’re making the worst mistake of your life. So for once, I ignored what my head said and paid attention to my little sister. Her and many of her ilk are intelligent, wise beyond their years and misunderstood. That’s why I count so many of them among my closest friends.
Funnily enough, I was with the black pearl when the white one first spotted me; in McDonald’s where so many of my closest relationships started. The rest is the future. I’ve not been to McDonald’s for a while but credit is always due to those who helped me in my times of need: the friends I made who were customers and staff. Too many to mention but worthy of singling out right now are Kristy and Meg, simply because they are of special relevance now.
Kristy works in McDonald’s. As has been documented before, she and others there have helped me in my times of need: free coffee and food, stationery paid for out of their own pockets, company and friendship. They’re a family down there. Kristy’s latest – very generous – random act of kindness was to pay my library fines. I’d lent books which I’d taken out to her and The Courts, sat on some myself when I was feeling particularly ill and couldn’t venture beyond the “safe” confines of the squat and accumulated fines for the books’ non return. The fines totaled over thirty quid: a sum beyond my means but without my asking, Kristy and one of my other best friends, Nettie (Meg’s mum and one of those few parents who actually understand me, along with Meg’s dad, Matt; a man after my own heart (and head)) paid them. I am of limited means to repay the gratuity (although I will, along with everything else I owe to so many people) but for now at least, I can thank these people in a way which is indelible and in the public domain: on the blog.
So there’s Meg. Just like her parents: understanding, tolerant, patient, always there; around me, behind me and by my side. Part sister, part daughter and one of my besties. I affectionately refer to her as “Cuz” because she’s so many things in the fucked-up family and we like to keep it in the family, that the best way to think of her is as a cousin.
A potential rival family to The Pink Hearts has emerged in the form of “The Vipers”. I use the word “potential” as there is none: no threat, nor rivalry. The Pink Hearts were never a gang; just a group of friends who formed a family. They still are. The Dog is running this new gang and they’re running around, as kids do and should. The boss (The Snake) has spoken to the boss of the snakes to ensure that there are no divisions. Anyone can be a snake with a Pink Heart: co-existence. The Pink Hearts will always remain as an ethos and the most loyal would never leave but there are no sides to be taken. The boss snake misses the Pink Hearts but most of the little snakes are running around out there (with no legs) while I remain at base and the key ones come to me and I’m still in contact with others: my brother and business partner, the wife’s other wife, the fold-away one, The Ninja; so many nicknames…
News on the grapevine is that the old place (the squat), where it all started and many of us met and grew close, will indeed be called Pink Heart House if permission is granted for its planned redevelopment into an old people’s home: a lasting monument and an impression upon the landscape, as we made when we were there.
On the biological family front, I spoke to the mother ship. She was a little surprised to hear from me as apparently the last time we spoke, I told her that I never wanted to speak to her again. What I actually said was that I would understand if she didn’t want to speak to me again and that I would understand if it made her life easier to simply disown me. Funny how memories fade quickly and things get twisted in people’s minds.
I phoned the mother ship to ask if she knew that my biological kids’ mum had taken the kids to Rugby. RUGBY FFS! She may as well have taken them to another planet. At least Louis’ happy, as he’s told me in an email. So he’s not forgotten me as I feared he may and like the mother ship may wish to.
Captain’s log, supplemental
Farewell as we depart for Somnia: a search for a place which I really hope I’ll find one day…