2 am. Drunk on bourbon. In bed. The television is loud. I feel disoriented and strange. 2 am. 20°C. Summer. I am in limbo. I don’t know what to feel. How to feel.
I can hear the clouds moving across the night sky. Obscuring the stars. Obscuring the planets. Passing under satellites and other astronomical objects. I can feel their movement it comes in through the window and moves across my exposed face. It is cooling and soothing.
The television voice is loud. I don’t like it.
Thunder rolls. The sky is the colour of slate with a band of white where it meets the distant houses and trees.
When the rain has stopped I walk to the shop and buy a bottle of wine. On the way back the sun shines on the wet roads and pavements. My trainers shine so brightly they look like that ’80s music video. Each time I pass a puddle the reflection of the sun dazzles me. Clear sky above me now.
I have been cutting the escitalopram dose down for 5 days now. I would like to be able to function on the lowest dose by the time I restart university in September. I hope the reduced dose will combat a lot of cognitive difficulties I suffer with. Furthermore, the escitalopramic fog. Trouble is I am experiencing some mild side-effects from reducing the dose, sometimes, I feel a little disconnected and I’m getting brain shivers.
1.26 am. The whistling in my ears is unbearably loud.
11.01 am. Doctor’s surgery waiting room. The bus took ages. My head feels fuzzy. I have a dull headache. The world feels off today. The waiting room is warm and close. A man is debating with his toddler daughter whether seaweed is edible or not. She insists it’s not. But he explains it is and full of iron. She’s not convinced. She thinks daddy is being silly.
I feel strange: distant and disconnected. The flooring glitters, I’m not sure what the material is, something hard-wearing I suppose. My head thuds without much spirit.
The children in the waiting room all seem at ease. When I was young I always sat very still feeling very anxious. It all seemed very clinical, the tubal metal and wood chairs, the white tiled walls; my memory of it is a vast space of whiteness with rows of chairs laid out facing four doors which led to the doctors’ treatment rooms with a window-fronted reception between them. The receptionist would slide a glass panel (often brusquely) open to deal with patients. I think that this clinic has been demolished now. There was a pharmacy across the road with a large green tiled cross on the side, in the 1960s style. There were also public toilets near the entrance of the clinic and I hated passing them as they always reeked of urine, disinfectant and strange men.
11.32 am. Still waiting. The receptionist and a patient discuss the weather. It’s raining.
Drizzly grey Wednesday. Back from the doctors. I have just told you about my dream of being shot in the head so I won’t repeat it here.
The withdrawal effects of reducing escitalopram continue. Blankness and fog. My GP suggested I might be withdrawing too quickly, I think he is probably right.
The weather is depressing. Everything is fucking depressing. Grey. Grey. Grey.
Afternoons in the rain.
This is a boring letter. It just moves the story forward.
As human beings, we need pillows to support our necks. In the evening the sun shines. In the day the sky is grey.
I am the person at the window. I am the one watching. I only watch. I cannot keep them from trouble. I only watch.
The warmth rises. It fills the space. It blocks your nose. It blocks your ears. It disorientates your senses. Where am I? Where is this? What are those flashing lights?
Trouble is, we forget. Who is bad. You see. We forget.
So I have been asleep for a few hours since I started writing to you. It is now almost midnight. I don’t know what I have written before this. (What I write as I am falling asleep is usually nonsense!) I only know what I am writing now.
The room is dark. Except for the light from my phone and the display on the tower fan which says 22°C. The world is still. Right now. I think the window is closed. You are in the bathroom.
I dreamt of the same house twice. First, last night then again tonight. But I can’t remember my dream from tonight, except I was back in that house.
A car drives past breaking the silence.
Now, it is just the ringing in my ears again. The constant high-pitched ringing. Ringing is wrong. It sounds like a continuous flow of sound. Whistling. Yes, whistling is better.
Midnight. 12.00 am. Zero hour.
It is now tomorrow. It is now today.
The sound in my ears is making me feel nauseous.
I am sitting on the edge of the bed in the inky dark. My sinuses are blocked. My face is lit by my phone I can see it out of the corner of my eye reflected in the mirror.
I am sitting in the living room now. You have headphones over your ears and you are playing a game. The hum in the living room competes with the whistling in my ears.
It’s now after two. You are brushing your teeth and I am lying on top of the candlewick bedspread with the red cat. The light is on. It is very late. No sounds outside just the constant whistling in my ears.
2.30 am. Upstairs with a glass of Laphroaig. I have to go to the doctor’s surgery first thing tomorrow to pick up the letter from my GP. I am going to be very tired.
In bed. 4.10 am. Not tired. Headache. Escitalopram yawns. It is very quiet and still. Very pleasant. Just your breathing and the whistling. There is cool air coming in through the window. I can feel it on the back of my neck. I keep clenching my jaw, another escitalopram side-effect. Why am I suddenly getting side-effects after a year?
The brown cat is somewhere in the room I can hear her bell. A car passes heading towards town. The world will be waking up soon but I don’t want to think that. Because I want to sleep.
I am clenching my jaw again. It is making my headache worse. I hope it’s sunny in the morning when I walk over to the doctors. Nice dry heat and the sun on my face.
I ought to try and fall asleep. Maybe I’ll read for a while. My moon is upstairs, charging. I put the potatoes away in the fridge if you are looking for them.
So. This is what it has come to: in bed before 9 pm. The fragments lay scattered about. There is a deafening high-pitched sound. Ear-splitting. In the other room, an empty room, an awful sitcom is playing out.
It is 13°C in the bedroom. Last week it was 31°C. It is just after midnight. I had the window open, I was enjoying the sound of the cold wind. I have closed it now and put the fan on. I used to hate the sound the fan made made but recently I’ve begun to enjoy its white noise.
The brown cat is sleeping next to me. My neck aches from sleeping, I assume, in an odd position. Probably the current stresses are aggravating it too. Today has been a bad day. I have felt nauseous and low. And you have felt low. It has rained all day. Cool rain. But it’s really depressed me. Two days of greyness.
We fell asleep after dinner. Though, I can’t remember going to bed. I was going to get up and do some work but I had a sudden attack of low blood pressure turning the world grey and fuzzy and leaving me nauseous.
The fire alarm pips have started again. They sound every 30 seconds or so. I could time them. But I’m not going to. Remember that storm a couple of years ago that tore the felt from the dormer window in our bedroom and it leaked for a few nights before they came and fixed it? I remember the drips became consistent and I was so sleepless and so bored that I counted the drips and worked out how many fell per hour and how many would fall before the leak was fixed. I even worked out velocity of each drop using GCSE physics. I drew the line at going to get the scales to work how much was falling in each drop. But I remember we emptied several buckets worth.
This is ridiculous. I’m tempted to get up and chew a quarter of a sleeping tablet, just to help facilitate sleep. But I don’t want the hangover that I might get tomorrow, I have too much to do.
Fuck it, I’m going to take one. Back shortly.
Quarter of a tablet swallowed with a glass of navy rum and a biscuit. Here’s to sleep.
I’m upstairs sitting at my computer reading the news headlines on the BBC. The red cat has joined me. He is curled up purring softly to himself. I’m waiting for the pill to take effect. The malfunctioning fire alarm is outside my room. Its pips make me wince. It would be foolish to take the battery out. I’ll get a new one tomorrow when I go to the post office.