Columns

Yesterday, sunshine; today, flies

IT is 5am.

The ceiling has just turned into a ceiling, replacing the black void that it has been all night.

I know this because I’ve been looking into it all night.

Looking into it and asking: what’s the point of it all?

I didn’t get an answer, which is just as well because I probably wouldn’t have believed it.

I don’t understand (obviously, or I wouldn’t be asking what the point of it all was)… yesterday I looked out on the world and it was full of sunshine and lovers and the playground noises of children.

This morning, as the sun comes up, I think of drought, and terrorists and recall that it’s mostly the kids who pull the wings off flies. I’m thinking of flies, too!

What’s happening!

It must be me. It’s pretty much the same world out there as yesterday, give or take a lover or a terrorist or two, but to me it looks different.

Is someone poisoning my food? Has my house been built on a toxic site that has been poisoning me nightly with noxious gases?

Am I being taken over by something with 666 tattooed on its forehead?

I have not been sacked (not to my knowledge, anyway). I don’t have a terminal disease (not to my knowledge, anyway). I have no right to be miserable. Life is good! I have a wife who loves me, when I would have settled for one who could tolerate me. I have children with looks and brains. I have a dog that is indefatigably pleased to see me.

And yet I daren’t get up. If I do, I know I will slump. My wife says it’s all about posture. She says you can’t be miserable with your shoulders back and your head up. But I say you can’t hold your head up or your shoulders back when you feel like I do.

She says snap out of it. She might as well tell me to lift myself off the ground by my own shoelaces.

The sun has now cleared the horizon and the ceiling now has colour. It’s sort of yellow. Yesterday it reminded me of straw being harvested in paddocks by rosy-cheeked and hearty artisans.

This morning it reminds me of jaundice.

It’s a mystery.

You may have theories of your own about the alignment of the planets, or reincarnation, or energy fields. If you do, please keep them to yourself.

Nor am I going to try yoga or karmic meditation. I’d rather be miserable in my own unimaginative way and snap at my wife, kick the dog and complain about the neighbours.

Later, I may even get out of bed.

I am entitled to be miserable occasionally. No one thinks it strange that clouds occasionally cover the sun (well, in any normal, drought-free world). No one ever asks why (except nerdy scientists who need to get out more).

Today I have a cloud. It will pass. I am not going to lose any sleep over it. Except that I already have. It is now 6am.

If I’m lucky I can get a couple of hours sleep in before the sun moves far enough to cook me in my bed like a toasted sandwich. By then I might be in a better mood.

Unless I hear the playground noises of any bloody children, that is.