Late Night Wakefulness

Late on a Friday, that day that once meant so much now faded to the same pointlessness of all the others. After a few drinks at the pub, I’m back home but am too alert to go to bed despite the modernist symphony of yawns punctuated by pauses perhaps too long even for Pinter. Yet I long for the warm temporary forgetting of bed, but I know I have to forgo it awhile. Know I have to wait for the tiredness to overcome my brain’s unwelcome alertness before I can yield to the warm embrace of my duvet.

So in the waiting, I seek the tranquillising effect of music. Arvo Part tonight, a composer I can usually rely on in such times. It brings to mind that brief, amazing moment in 2010 when after a concert, I met him very briefly as he was signing CDs. A softly spoken man with a neat beard and blue velvet jacket, looking considerably less than his 75 years. Wow, I thought, not really believing it. And I still don’t, I have to look at his signature on the CD sleeve to convince myself.

The temporary oblivion of sleep and its blessed forgetting. A consummation devoutly to be wished indeed, though I don’t know dreams I’ll be thrown into. They have lately been disturbing, dystopic. Not nightmares where I’m pursued by great slobbering monsters with dripping fangs, but unpleasant enough to be glad to wake from. Not that I can remember any of them, they seem to vanish from memory before I’ve had time to get out of bed and draw the curtains. Sometimes an impression, a hint of a suggestion is left, but usually not. Perhaps that’s just as well, even though they can soften the edge of the reality.

So, the CD ends. Time to take my pills, swigged down with milk, and then bed. There are worse things to be drifting through the mind than Arvo Part. If I could but turn that into pill form.


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