What do you do when sleep doesn’t come? Well for one thing I have to get up and smooth my sheet, tuck it back in down the side of this too bloody thick and heavy mattress. I snuggle down again and listen to a book – tonight it’s 1984 (again) and I discover I’ve forgotten Winston’s voice, and the diary, and lots of other little details. I don’t fall asleep. So I get up and have a bowl of Crunchy Nut Cornflakes to stop my stomach growling and relieve the yearning for something sweet. Then I have a prowl on FB and Twitter but my eyes won’t want to do too much of that…and they won’t let me read a book for more than five minutes. But no one’s doing anything interesting or amusing on social media, and now my legs are twitching so I think I’ll try to knock myself out – Christ, it’s 4am and the alarm is set for nine.
Loads to do tomorrow before starting work at five; first I have to pee in a cup; then I haul myself up to the hospital for an x-ray on my back before handing the pee into the doctor’s office. After that it’s a 25 mile trip into Glasgow for my wages, drag some dough to the bank to pay Virgin and lesser direct debits, and then buy some food. An 8-hour shift on top of that is cushy.
I took a sleeping pill last night and didn’t get up to go for the x-ray this morning so it’s my own fault. Now I get to choose which book goes with me in case I have to sit around for hours; I’m thinking Helen Dunmore’s début poetry collection, The Raw Garden, should win because I need to finish reading it, and it’s nice and thin. There’s no doubt my eyes will see the glory of 5am but hopefully that will be the last until the alarm announces that the real morning has broken.