The numbers on the digital clock glow eerily red in the darkened bedroom.; one twenty seven, no, twenty-eight. Outside the sky has turned into a velvety indigo, not the true inky darkness of nighttime, too many artificial lights for that. The stars mere pinpoints, not the bright, twinkling that you get in the dark lanes of Mustique. My back teeth ache with the acrid tang of the acid reflux keeping me awake while the neighborhood breathes softly in sleep. Even the insects are quiet tonight, biding their time one wonders. But for what?
The acid reflux a recurrent symptom, not eased by calming cups of tea or applications of chalky, fake flavoured chewy pills, it compliments the pain in my lower back and the ache behind my neck. Classic signs of stress related woes. Tomorrow morning, the first order of business will be to acquire some more of the purple pills that only ease, but do not entirely dissipate the burning pain and discomfort of having the pressure of stomach gas in places it should not be. Ultimately, the symptom is not the problem; it is the weeks of work, hard slog that have led to this. While the adrenalin rush from the task ahead is going to carry us through, the underlying fear that all is not well does not go away.
We are all under pressure to make it happen, no matter what the cost. In the living room the backlight from the laptop, yellow energy efficient bulb in the kitchen and streetlight outside are the only light in this room now. In this half light but not quite, Buddha seated in his spot on the Cabinet is serene, how I envy him. It is not the acid reflux keeping me awake but the growing disquiet of something too big to fix. I am not invincible, nor are any of us doing this, and we know it. The hound senses my feelings of unease and leans into me, his furry head soft and comforting to the touch. He whines gently, nudging me with his head and when he realizes that we will not be going back to bed, sighs and settles down to wait. Sometime his mistress must sleep and he will be there to watch over while she does, patient through the turning and tossing until tired over takes and an exhausted peace settles back in.
Everything in this room is recognizable; the shapes familiar even in the dark. I can find my way around with my eyes closed but tonight it makes little difference to the unease. I am reminded in these wee hours of no sleep, of all the plans I had for this space, the best laid plans lacking an implementation phase. The man who made me smile will be here in a little over a week. This is a nice thought but another stab at distraction; it will help but not enough. Even the thought of seeing two old friends, both brought here from abroad by family ties is not enough I have missed them and only realized how much when I heard their voices on the phone this week. As busy as it is, I must make the time to see them, to reclaim that piece of me that is missing.
I long for the comfort of fabric softened sheets and dog cuddled up. The Xman has once again become that, a part of my past, so the hound has reclaimed his superior spot. Funny how this time has turned out. Any residual goodwill, separated from all the other emotions from that period when we were together, he and I, gradually eroded away by his unwillingness or inability to grow, so there is nothing left. It is not about someone else, rather, it is to clear away that which just does not work. In these quiet hours I am reminded of a conversation with a new friend, someone whose experiences so closely mirror my own. A woman of strength and power whom I admire, respect and understand so well. “Open yourself” she said. I’m trying Es, I’m trying.
Cup of tea done, another attempt to calm my body, another attempt at sleep. Tomorrow is another day.