The Mock Power Cut
A busy day. One of those days spent rushing hither and thither. Warm white toast, hot chocolate and gossip. A market bustling with nowty old ladies. Carrier bags that spell Christmas.
And you. A body still throbbing with sleep disturbed by the kind of wake up jolts that shoot from your head to your toes and bouts of hiccups that make everybody giggle with their alarming, persistent regularity. A mind that will not keep still.
In the Sunday paper you read about a woman who held a weekly mock power cut. With lights out and technological stalkers gagged, deep silence would be her reward and you yearn for it, because you have come to imagine that silence will shock your thoughts into stillness. That it will lasso them together so you can study them closely and work out what they mean.
So this is your plan. Although the house is always lost to you in November when life becomes a whirlwind of shopping and deliveries, tonight you have done your best to straighten things up. To stuff packages still wrapped into your Christmas box and to eat a pre-packaged edaname bean salad straight from the tub, so you will not have to deal with the dishes decent food would create. You have picked up petals fallen from last weeks bouquet and pulled back the covers from your bed in the hope that something like warmth will tickle your flannel sheets, before you climb amongst them, goose-pimpled and shivering.
There has been something wonderful about flicking through the TV schedule and recording that which you will miss. About hunting down votives for every tea-light you own and phoning those who love you to say an early goodnight. Though you light candles every evening, this is something much more deliberate. Mindful. Your purpose to make a cocoon for yourself, gently lit and layered in crocheted blankets. A place where you will not be disturbed by the horror or hilarity of evening television, nor your reverence broken by the shrill ring of the telephone.
And here you are with the last vestiges of contact with the outside world on your knee: your beloved laptop. Typing this to reaffirm your attentions to the universe. A few hours of deep silence. Not the kind that with it’s crooked finger, beckons tumultuous sleep, but true silence to be felt. The kind that gets noisier the harder you listen. There is a book. And soon a bowl full of warm, vanilla custard, the ultimate in comfort food. Palatable, soothing pleasure, spooned slowly. A blanket around your shoulders and a cat, purring on your knee.
It’s time. Sleep tight won’t you?