Wee Hour Insomnia


I apologise in advance for the messy, meandering quality of writing here. Lack of sleep does not beget creativity or consistency.

Morning insomnia is not my usual type, but when the cat woke us up this morning, it decided to pay me a visit anyway. I got rid of the cat by psshting at it through the door, and after its second attempt to get me to come feed it several hours earlier than usual, it gave up.

Too late, though. I was awake at 5 a.m. and in a baaad mood. In hindsight, watching that horrible reality show last night was a stupid idea (“Who Wants To Marry My Son?”, a French thing in which women with insufficient self-respect attempt to seduce men whose mothers take up far too much space in their lives, either by seducing the impossible mother as well, or using sexual charms to persuade the son to defy her). Reality shows in general tend to sap my faith in humanity, but this one was more draining than entertaining. In my defense, I only watched it because my boyfriend and flatmate were watching it, and I had a bolero to finsh.

The show finished around half one, so I got to sleep a bit before 2 a.m., and was awake by five thanks to the bloody cat. That makes a bit more than three hours’ sleep, after a day spent running around for potential future employers.

I didn’t tell you about that though, did I? It’s not bad news. Thursday was my day for job offers, apparently – a clothes shop that I really like rang to ask me to do four (unpaid) hours as a test the next day, followed by an interview. While I’m not sure making people work 4hrs unpaid is entirely legal, I’m still glad I did it because I learned two things that bolster my self-esteem: 1) My calm (HAHA), discreet appearance actually makes me a more effective salewoman, since I seem unimposing and put people at ease; and 2) I can stay on my feet for four hours straight without getting backache as long and you don’t ask me to stand still for too long. I also got a glimpse of what it’s like to work in a clothes shop, which is cool because now I can write about it.

The boss said no, though, because I had too much trouble putting all the clothes away in the right places even after they’d shown me around. You try differenciating between three types of baggy trousers displayed in three different sections of the shop, all dark blue linen with elastic waistbands.

When I got out, thank god for my boyfriend, who was waiting with a smoothie and some chocolate (it was nearly 3p.m. and I hadn’t eaten… reeeally not sure this was legal) and drove me home while I devoured the lot.

When I got home I rang the other person who’d rung me the day before with a job offer, and told her I’d been refused at the clothes shop and was therefore free to mind her kids. Once again, nine months of unemployment are all I can take before falling back on the only profitable thing I seem to be any good at. I’m not entirely sure what possessed me to agree to meet them a few hours later that same day (in another town, 40mins away, near Brussels, during rush hour). I was so tired I somehow forgot how tired I was. I regretted it for the next two hours, sitting in the sofa wanting nothing more than to fall asleep, but after eating one guarana seed (yuck), several goji berries and a couple of cocoa beans to keep me calm on the road, I set off, and it was alright. Until the GPS got me lost in the Flemmish countryside on the way back, anyway, but that’s another story.

So. I’m nannying again. I’m not entirely happy about it. I can’t help but think of it as a step backwards, a sort of failure to find better work. I know I shoudln’t complain. I’m actually in a state to work now, and I’m not even on meds any more. I should be proud of myself for getting this far. Besides, it’s only two, maybe three nights a week, it’s only for two months for now, and it’ll probably do me a lot of good (if nothing else, children are antidepressants). But…

You know that thing you do sometimes where you keep imagining conflicts in your head? How it can sometimes become so invasive, it prevents you from sleeping, even after a really long, stressful day and only three hours’ sleep. I just wish my brain wouldn’t do that.


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