Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Awakening


6:38 The piercing alarm breaks a stone cold slumber. Your fumbling hand reaches for the clock to deactivate the tetchy digitised instruction to “GET UP”. Snooze – onomatopoeic respite, eight minutes of resumed oblivion, denial of the inevitable. A ritualistic call to arms, the regimented expectation to fulfil a role – partner, lover, carer, mother. Drawn from the weariness of a night characterised by the vagaries of sleep apnoea – coaxing death, lungs performing independently, denying your exhausted body and brain oxygen. Your brain, somehow, relishes this hyperbolic state and follows its own fantastical route through the reconstituted to the tangible anxieties of the hyper-real. The fabricated call to order once again issues its missive “GET UP!” But you have manipulated and outwitted time and time stands where it was.

January and nature has abandoned the suffocation of the overbearing darkness, with succorless seasonality all light and warmth are denied. Silence pervades – birds do not expend precious energy on heralding a sunless dawn. Finessing the finite is a predilection of the natural world, not an invention imposed by sustainable necessities. Electric lights provide little comfort just a blinding contrast to the ineffable darkness. The gas ring ignited, illuminated. Water drawn, kettle set, Assam and Earl Grey carefully combined to provide the perfect brew.

Once again you are ahead – a moments thought the previous evening, and a few minutes labour has secured a hearty, wholesome breakfast. Water, pinhead oats and heat. The gas extinguished, the residual heat locked in with a noisy lid. Water and oats and remaining heat conjoin whilst you rest fitfully. Morning sees the solidified mass broken by the softly turned baton that is your spurtle, more water, more stirring. As the mass becomes smooth and molten and bubbles quietly – the alchemy is complete the modest combination of oats and water and heat transforms a rough gruel to a creamy porridge. Breakfast is served.

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