When sleep won’t come

It’s 6am and I am wide awake.

This is in itself fairly unusual for a day off. Normally my eyelids wouldn’t even part til gone nine. Sometimes even ten. However this morning I feel events outside my control have all conspired one after another to keep me in the land of no sleep.

Firstly, my partner who is now off on her way to work, had a fretful nights sleep herself. She would awake every hour worried about why she wasn’t asleep and how many hours were left until she had to get up. This is an awful situation is it not? You have a twelve hour shift ahead of you, you absolutely need to sleep. Yet because you know how important that sleep is, it won’t come.

To alleviate her worries she pokes me in the back every so often. Why? For the love of God why? I’m asleep! Why wake me up just to tell me you can’t sleep yourself?

‘What’s that my love? You can’t sleep? Well, hang on one moment. I’ve got some magic dust here somewhere.’

The alarm finally goes off. I wake up too and see her looking down at me, a concerned expression on her face. I feel as though my eyes are bleeding they are that sore and bloodshot. ‘Oh, did you not sleep well either?’ She asks. Grit teeth and smile.

So, she’s up and getting dressed now. I should be able to just roll over and sleep right? Wrong. Now I need a pee. I get up, walk all the way down our freezing corridor (we call our house the igloo) and stand before the bog passing water that must surely break all current world records for ‘The Longest Piss.’

I’ve been back in bed now for about twenty minutes. You’d think that being as tired as I am I’d drift off in to a pleasant unmolested slumber, but no. I am wide awake because the ‘Doom Lorry’ just went past outside.

The Doom Lorry comes past the house about once a week. Sometimes I am in and asleep and it wakes me up (it never fails to wake me up) or I am fortunately at work and therefore blessedly free of its awfulness.

It’s basically a lorry like any other. Except this one carries pigs. These pigs are being taken to slaughter. It is my belief that these pigs know they are being taken to slaughter. I can hear the lorry approaching long before it passes my house. It hasn’t got a particularly loud engine or anything. It’s the pigs. It’s as if they are screaming. Can you imagine what that sounds like at six in the morning? It’s fucking scary! Go on, try it. Close your eyes and imagine a lorry packed with maybe fifty pigs (this is a guess, it could be more), fifty screaming pigs. The sound gets louder as they near the house. It reaches a crescendo as the lorry stops at the junction outside, for you live on a corner. You can feel their terror pulling at your soul and rattling against your bones. Then the lorry pulls away and the sound of that terrible screaming slowly fades, leaving only a scar on your memory and a heart near beating out of your chest. That is the Doom Lorry, bringing you a truck full of screaming death at six in the morning. Thats probably whats written down the side of the lorry I’d imagine.

Anyway, having been sufficiently traumatised for one day I think I’ll get up and make myself a nice cup of tea and a hot crossed bun. Heres hoping for a better nights sleep tonight.

M 🙂

Author: Mark S Thompson

Okay, so these things are kind of hit and miss. If you’re reading this then I am thankful to you for taking the time out of your day to do so. I’ll be honest, when I think of myself as a writer, I kinda cringe. Don’t get me wrong, it is the dream, it's​ just I never really believe it will go anywhere. When I think back to the day that I first knew I loved writing, and I mean really knew, I see myself sitting in an English lesson at secondary school. The school was called Wrotham and is in the county of Kent, England. As far as I know, it's still there. English was far and away my favourite subject. The best bit was when the teacher gave the class a selection of words and asked us to make up a story that either contained those words or was about those words, you know. At other times we would be given the first sentence and then write what happens next. Good times. Many times my work would reflect what I had recently read and it would be okay. Nothing special, just okay. On one occasion though I wrote about a merman called Finchy and can remember going into so much depth and detail about him and the underwater kingdom he lived in. I really enjoyed writing that and it must have shown because my teacher commented on it. She was really impressed and loved the story. That was it for me, my moment. Now when I write I think back to those great times and to that story. Hopefully, I’ll write something that you, the reader, will be moved to comment on. For me, there is no greater elixir

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