Saturday, July 23, 2011

Four Stops

It's five in the morning and I've been awake for I don't know how long. I went to sleep drunk. Instead of passing out, I slept lightly and fitfully. So I look at illuminated dials of the tiny clock on my overflowing bedside table. It's quarter to. Maybe I'll sleep some more.

But no. Sleep eludes me. Red wine killed sleep like Macbeth. So maybe I will go back to JB after all. I'm wide awake. And so I text Esther who's in KL. Yes, at five. Surprisingly the text goes through. Usually when people are asleep they switch off their phones. And I get a little alert to say that the phone has been switched off, but no worries, it will be delivered as soon as they switch on the phone.

An hour later (an hour of me, tossing on those twisted sheets, full of bees, empty of sleep) Esther answers. She said "Also can. What time were you thinking?"

And I say, I'm packing now (actually I'm still in bed). I can be over to pick you up in half an hour. And she flails helplessly. No, no, no. I have to get out of bed, shower, etc.

So anyway, I'm supposed to pick her up at quarter to seven. Fine by me. I loll in bed some more. And then get up and rush through packing etc. Arnold is jumping up and down because he thinks, ooooooooh, early walk. But it is not to be and I feel a little guilty because I haven't taken him out for a walk once this week. Not even once.

I pick Esther up. And so begins our fateful journey. We agree not to have breakfast before we leave. No, we'll wait till we get to the rest-stop at Ayer Keroh (about 100kms into our journey to make our first stop).

It is not to be. Esther had a bad night. Her note to self: Don't drink bad-ass coffee at 10 at night. Not if you want some sleep. She had just been falling into a deep sleep when the text came through. And after that I'd killed her sleep. So she was kinda groggy.

First stop. Toilet break.

Second stop: She needed to throw up.

Third stop: Breakfast.

Fourth stop: I needed to take a nap as after breakfast, sleep came over me, like a wave, like a whirpool, like the mists of Avalon. I started to drive erratically. Forcing my eyes open while my breakfast was forcing them closed. Enough. I pulled up at the next rest stop. Left the car running while Esther and I closed our eyes.

Immediate REM sleep. In fact, it was so deep that I started dreaming. And then I heard a voice. "The aircon will get hot if you keep it on while the car is stationary."

I jolted out of sleep, heart racing and looked around. Esther was still curled up on her side, but she was awake. The sound of a nearby lorry had disturbed her dreams. And she woke up to find some guy at a nearby car staring at the both of us, sleeping there, in the bright daylight, in front of God and everybody.

But the nap did the trick. I was awake now. And raring to go. I drove at about 120 most of the way. Sometimes 115. Esther chattered on pleasantly and then fell silent. When I finally asked her something, she mumbled. Apparently she was trying to keep it down. Gastric juices rising.

But we made it to JB without incident. And then I deposited her at her doorstep, pale and sweating, looking ill. She texted me to say, hey, you wanna go do a hair spa. (I said, what I really want to do is sleep). And then she texted again to say, hey, I can't do hair spa, am giddy.

The JB air worked its magic. Soon I was stumbling downstairs, a little less sleep-befuddled. And there was lunch. Delicious. And then it was time to take my dogs for a walk. We walked slowly, leisurely and they responded well to terms of endearment rather than my usual short, sharp barks and brandishing a stick. (Arnold has changed me). And then I was off to Giant for a bout of shopping for my mother.

And then it was home again, home again, jiggety jig. With a copy of The Edge and I made the Big M read my article and comment on it. It was an Options article (meaning lifestyle) and the kind of thing she liked (to say nothing of the fact that the dude I interviewed is Johorean and Catholic, two factors that raise him in her estimation) so she read the article and enjoyed it and then told me (because I asked her) why she enjoyed it.

Only my Mummy!

I've got to get to bed now as we're going to the market tomorrow. And then I have a meeting. And then, in the evening, I return to clanging cymbals that is KL where I self-medicate to tune out (not that it helps but I do it anyway).

Later for you.


Tudor Rose said...

This is just so beautifully written.

Jenn said...

Awww you just made my day. Thank you.