Monday, May 21, 2012

Confessions of a Light Sleeper

In early May the temperatures were 40C. For the last week it's been 43C every single day. What this means is that the house, the roads, even the plants, give off heat like they were efficient and well-maintained solar heaters. I could fry and egg on any step.

We try not to keep the AC on for too long. We slop water on to mats and leave them on the floor. We wet towels and drape ourselves with them as if we were delicate greens at the grocer's. We think of watermelons ans cucumbers and instead get more mangoes than we know what to do with.

So we succumb and turn the AC on at night.

But here's the thing: I can't actually fall asleep when the AC is on. It's nice enough when I'm reading or writing or just messing around lurking on Tumblrs and looking at pretty pictures, but once the light's off, I get anxious.

I look at my watch every 15 minutes and if my anxiety levels are elevated, then every three. Finally, at 10, 11, maybe midnight, I turn the AC off. But then:

If I turn off the main swtich, I am closing off the possibility of turning it back on if the room gets hot again (which it will, in half an hour or less). If I open the windows, I will let what little cool air there is out. On the other hand, in time - in four hours or more - there might be a breeze.

But the stabiliser lights bother me. The mattress radiates heat. I get up and open a window. Fall back into uneasy sleep. Wake up again to, maybe, turn the AC on again and change my mind. Back and forth. Toss and turn.

There's too little sleep in summer. Too much time in that elastic space when sleep approaches and retreats. Too little during the waking hours.

(Also too many mangoes. If you're in the city, please take some off me. Their smell overpowers the house. Did I say: that's another bar to sleep.)


It's been six years since I started this blog. In a lot of ways it's like a marriage*: I'm mildly surprised it's lasted this long but can't bring myself to care one way or another to renew the excitement of it. Not when the siren songs of Twitter and Tumblr sound. Not when other new, shiny things keep me off the net altogether.

On the other hand, it's a space. It's where I am and can be usually found. And I'm astonished and grateful that people still turn up, even when there's not a whole lot to see.

In the last month, I've looked at what brings new people here. It's mostly chunks of text - poetry, stuff I've stored here in order not to forget - things like that. The top two, consistently are:Edwin Morgan's 'Opening the Cage' and Anouilh's 2nd Chorus from Antigone. Other searches depend on what schools or colleges set their students to read. Some will search for Arseniy Tarkovsky or 'Penelope's Descendents' and find themselves here.

They're not going to land up on the main blog and see this, but just in case: Hi!

And to everyone else, who still land up despite the erratic, self-indulgent, unresponsive to comments behaviour I display, thanks for reading!

*I ought to mention, when I say a marriage, I really mean mine. I know many people who have lovely marriages six years on.


Banno said...

Well, happy anniversary anyway. I've missed most of summer, so just felt languorous reading your post, instead.

km said...

When life gives you mangoes, you make mango milkshake, no?

SUR NOTES said...

i am a regular her... but just like in a 6 year old marriage i am lazy about articulating things. But just so you know, i am regular here :)

ps I have to prove that i am not a robot and only then will my comment be enabled. even six year old marriages dont ask for so much commitment.

Anonymous said...

hey. i'm a regular visitor to your blog, among the many others. in fact, it's one of the first things i do when i flip open my ipad (bookmarked it). your blog is an inspiration to wannabe writers like me. our only access into that wondefully eclectic mind of yours.

it has been six years you say. and like a marriage. i don't know if you mean a marriage between your ideas and your readers. or one between you and your blog, wherein us readers are the invitees to witness the beautiful interaction.

irrespective, i have two words for you on this milestone. thank you.

Space Bar said...

Banno: Thank you! With the rains almost here, hope your langour's also vanishing.

km: Me, I tend to want to hurl when life gives me mangoes. You shoulda been here to take some of them off me.

Sur: :D I know, I know. Will call soon.

Anon: Thanks for reading!