What a strange morning this has been: never quite emerging from the fug of a sleep ravaged and arrested; half-awake when I was sleeping and half-asleep when awake.
Sleep did I say? More like a night-long stretch in the cosy horizontal dark, my mind spinning furiously, matters practical tossed in with a kaleidoscopic carousel of images and encounters that can only have come from my deeper self.
There I was, turning, gurning and adjusting, the retreating darkness my body clock, checking the real time on my phone; one minute it’s 3.30, the next I am around 12 years of age, judging by the familiar long-forgotten lino in the kitchen of my Tipperary childhood.
Reminding myself — again — to call my daughter early as she has a maths test in school, then I am talking in the parallel kitchen with my mother‚ dead for many years, who has just walked in, only she has had a sex change. Which I can’t mention.
All these years living in this head and it can still surprise me with stuff like this.
I was to call my daughter before seven to study. I had been up at six-thirty to put on the immersion and back in bed, I had this image of her already sitting up in bed and working away. I obviously drifted back to sleep, as the alarm cut into my reverie, and I rose — again. Darkness in my daughter’s room … that was her up early yesterday!
It all felt like one of those eerie sci-fi movies, where the protagonist is in his house, or somewhere familiar, and normal, only it’s not. Ooohhh noooo! Something is just not right, something sinister is unfolding, and he’s waiting for the mayhem to begin …
So here I am now, shuffling around the kitchen in a half daze, my feet slipping out the back of my slippers and nearly stepping on the reverse-moonwalking dog looking for her food. I’m feeling weird and unwired, asking myself did I put that capsule in the coffee machine, pouring out my son’s apple juice, only to see my wife has done so already.
“Did you not see me doing it,” she asks, hardly unreasonably. “Em, no ….”.
The snarls between my son and daughter are tepid and half-hearted this morning, so everything does go to the clock and soon the pair are fed, coiffed, scrubbed of teeth and lunchboxed, and out the door to school, and my wife is gone to work.
Now, I will have that coffee — or have I already had it?