It’s early morning, 5am to be precise, and my eyes ping open. I try to get back to sleep. I try to empty my mind. But it’s no use. My mind is full of junk.
First I’m thinking: Why did I buy that Kindle yesterday? I don’t really need it. I’ve got books on my iPhone and I haven’t read half of those. Then I’m thinking how I get the clothes my dad’s been wearing for the last four weeks (and which are beginning to really smel)l off him and into the washing machine.
I’m becoming a dab hand with a bottle of Febreeze. I spray it at the furniture like some fussy old maid, spray the carpet, even spray it at my dad, surreptitiously of course. Unfortunately, he needs more than a good spray. Maybe I could stand him outside for a while and let the natural breeze take away some of those odours. In the meantime, the cat looks at me like I’m an idiot and my father watches New 24 for more hours than is healthy for a human being.
The early hours are good for writing if I can’t sleep. Obviously, it’s not much good for writing if I am actually asleep. I might discover deep truths, or at least some fabulous lies. At the moment, though, I’m too busy obsessing over whether I should have bought the Kindle. My brain is saying: unnecessary expense. It says that a lot lately. Like a beeper going off. For instance, I have to buy a car soon. My brother-in-law has managed to purloin me an old Peugeot for not very much. Ideal for running around in, which is all I need.
But my brain has suddenly decided, after 40 odd years ofsublime indifference, that it suddenly likes cars and I’ve been looking at this red MG that looks kinda sexy…which I don’t need…not at all…but…mmmmmmm.
This has got me thinking, at five in the morning no less, that my life is full of junk. From the Kindle to the laptop I’m working on, to all the crap on my floor, including the electric toothbrush and the goddamn iPhone. It’s all junk. Realise this people, someone went out and actually invented Febreeze. Somehow, I’m not sure the Great Lord of Creation had that in mind when he zapped us with his creation stick.
And I hate to harken back to the old days, when life was simpler. But it was, wasn’t it?
When we lived in caves, all we had to worry about was getting food or keeping warm. Then, as if things weren’t just right, we had to go and do something stupid like evolve. Primarily, this involved finding new things to worry about. We started having conversations with our neighbours, actually talking to each other, building settlements, learning “new” skills, discovering art.
Cooking used to be about just getting stuff on a plate, now you have to create a masterpiece every time you go into your mass produced kitchen where pointless gadgets gleam and whisper: use me, use me, you never needed me before, but now that you have me, you need me, need me soooo much!
Here’s a crazy notion: Why don’t we stop evolving and producing useless crap that means nothing and go back to living in caves…
Why? Because it’s cold and damp and…yes, harsh. You don’t want to live in a cave. You want to lie in a nice warm bed with a nice laptop and a nice cup of tea in your nice house with your lovely two kids and cock-eyed spaniel that’s got a little snuffle and your fridge full of organically farmed beetroot and freshly laid eggs and meat cut into neat chunks by some faceless miscreant who, right this minute, is sitting up and wondering why he can’t get to sleep and what the point of life is…
Ah, five in the morning. A time to ramble about things inconsequential. A time to let all those thoughts out onto the page. A time rational human beings should be asleep.
Footnote: My dad has just got up to go to the toilet, farted loudly and gone back to bed. I bet he’s not thinking dumb things…