Sunday, 27 May 2007

sentimental old bastard

It's about 7.30 on a wet Sunday morning. I imagine people waking up all over the country; opening one eye, they see the contented face of spouse/ partner then re-adjust their pillows and drift off into more self satisfied slumber. They love Sundays but they don't mind Mondays either cos work is great, they earn enough to sustain their comfotable (though never opulent) lifestyles and their kids are doing brilliantly at school, even though it's only the local comprehensive. Their grass is green. Meanwhile, just across the metaphorical tracks, I have been up since 6, unable to sleep again because my brain is full of worry. My best mate shuffles in, also unable to sleep.
'Couldn't sleep?' I ask.
'It's too light in my room.'
'But you have a blind.'
'Yeah but it's broken and it takes effort to roll it up again.'
I turn my lip up mockingly until I realise that I have two towels nailed to my window frame in lieu of curtains and they also let light in. I'm in my 40s. I don't live in my own flat; instead i'm renting from someone else. I'm divorced. I haven't been there enough for my son. Spurs still can't beat A*****l. MAN, why me? I spend 5 more minutes at this dip in my mental rollercoaster but then, without apparent reason, the chemical or neurological processes that channelled my brain downwards start pushing my thoughts back up to a peak. I remember the text exchange I had with my boy about Tottenham. I think about the laugh we had just sitting about during the week. I think about yesterday with my girl. I recall the laughs and the affection and look forward to our future. I remind myself of the telephone call to my sister who, despite a twisted foot, has been doing an amazing job for the charity she works for. I think about my mum; happier now than I can ever remember and doing things with her life that would be the envy of many people 40 years her junior.I see my best mate opposite me and (in a very manly way) appreciate the 20 years of friendship that makes him like a brother to me. Fuck it: life is brilliant.

Another image beckons: the waking people's grass isn't green. Sometimes it's mottled like mine can be; sometimes it's been concreted over. I make a mental note to stop looking into other people's back yards.

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