Lucy Mangan: there aren't many plus sides to insomnia, but I think I've found a few

I am, for the first time in a life hitherto customarily spent wrapped securely in the benign arms of Morpheus for at least eight hours in every 24, suffering from insomnia. I don't know why. I presume that, having seen how much fun my body has been having for the past 20 years, finding new and interesting ways to betray me since the first flush of youth fled, my brain has decided to get in on the act. Nice.

I generally give up at around 3am, get up and go and sit by the bedroom window to watch the foxes: scraggy, urban things, depressed and discontented, spirits eroded by the nagging feeling that life was never meant to be so hard, grey, mean and tough on the footpads, and that even a constant supply of KFC and curry chips spilling forth on every corner will not be enough to fill the fathomless void within. Suck it up, Reynard. The rest of us do.

At first, the extra time is useful. You can draw up to-do lists (befriend children's author Holly Black, who lives in a house with a secret library!) and detailed plans of action (a shower every day, especially if trying to befriend new people!). That bit's fine. It may even come in useful once sleep dependably reappears in my life and I have the energy to execute such life- and self-improving schemes.

But after that things get stickier and we head into the territory of long dark nights-or-I-suppose-technically-very-early-mornings of the soul. One cannot help but cogitate, sifting through and trying to fashion some desperate order out of the detritus of one's psyche. So far I have concluded:

1 I could kill someone. Certainly in self-defence, probably if given the choice between letting a multiple-murdering-rapist-paedophile go or murdering him, provided that a) there was, like, total, total proof that he'd done it; and that b) I was allowed or could never be caught.

2 I could eat someone. Not the someone I've just mentally murdered, but if we were trapped on an island by a plane crash and there were bodies around, or if my companion succumbed to hunger or dehydration before I did. Of course. It would be the only sensible thing to do.

3 I could both kill and eat anyone I was trapped on a desert island with if he or she kept telling me about their dreams and/or cats.

4 Or anyone who objects to my gender-specificity in point 1 and writes in to say that multiple-murdering-rapist-paedophiles can be women, too.

5 But I would look at pictures of cats on the internet all day if I could, thus proving that the only thing greater than my capacity for cruelty is my capacity for hypocrisy.

6 I want to make a new year's resolution to read Trollope in 2014, but I don't want to be the kind of person who resolves to read Trollope in the new year.

7 Or do I?

During the day, I am so tired that fact and fiction begin to blur. Did the Queen really complain about her police detail eating all her nuts? Sex Box? Did that happen? Wal-Mart employees holding a food drive for…other Wal-Mart employees? Surely not. At the other extreme, Peter Capaldi as Doctor Who sounded too good to be true but it was.

So I face 2014, shattered by self-knowledge and baffled by life. I wish the rest of you a happier, or at least a less confounding, new year.

Thanks to who have provided this article. View the original here.


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