Interlude – Tick, Tock, Stop The Clock

There are two clocks in this room and they are half a second apart.

Tick – tick- tock – tock – tick – tick – tock – tock…

It’s deafening. And continuous. Time won’t leave me alone.

Time: five thirty in the morning. We came to My Lady’s after the rugby. I’ve been awake for about an hour. No sweats but very little sleep. Dreams and nightmares and now I’m both too hot and too cold and caught between roiling energy and a dire need for rest.

Damn sleeping tablets are wasted on me.

I’m hungry. Or I feel sick. It’s one or the other. My trachea or oesophagus (which is which?) feels like some sort of fuel has been poured down it, stripping away whatever lubricant smooths and soothes it. I can’t stop yawning: those jaw crack, lioness yawns that don’t make you feel any less sleepy or deoxygenated.

Obsessive thoughts of control loss, regret and dread are creeping in between the ugly crevices of my brain, like thriving rotting MindIvy.

I saw a photo of a brain that was completely smooth: no dips or swirls or whatever scientific folk call them. Just like a flat surfaced pink jelly mould had turned it out perfectly for tonight’s retro dessert. I wonder did that person have a different brain function or thought process to most of us? Easier, ripple free, logical.

I wonder what my brain would look like if it were taken out whole right now? Don’t they have to put some sort of gelling agent into a removed-from-the-skull brain to keep its shape? Otherwise it would just melt into a puddle of substance: a bit like the the squidgy scum you skim off a day old casserole: bits of gristle and the remnants of something alive, living: decomposing into bits that will cling to the side of the stinking bin bag.

What do I do? Everyone’s asleep. I get up: I wake the dogs. I wake the dogs: I wake everyone else. I wake everyone: there’s a fuss. I want to be back in my own house where I can unact. I’ve‪ been alright there. I can’t handle even this minor change to other familiar surroundings.

The rugby carried me up like a wave. What a win. I couldn’t contain my joy. I’d imagine I was buzzing in my brain like the MRI image of a skull showing up in people on cocaine, or it seems equally damaging, sugar.

Then the reality that life is not a courageous team performance, strategically storming through to victory over the odds against injury, unbelievers and history, sets in and you’re sitting there being quizzed about your next match, the next hurdle in the never ending cycle of highs and lows in the game of staying alive.

Or maybe that’s what reality is. Maybe that’s what life is. A game, without the training. And every day you have to reset the scrum.

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