Through a tangled, gloopy haze of Louis Armstrong’s rumbling Southern serenade and the crochet blankets that smother my hungover body to the mattress, I unwillingly open my eyes and orientate myself within the black swathes of my bedroom. A tender draught is playing from the window-panes by my head., and if I strain I can hear the burgeoning caw of magpies that follow the dawn East along the Kelvin. In my lucid and liminal state, I can romanticise this daybreak. The curtains are still drawn.
And yet, brushing them away from the window I am met not with the light of the sun but a rancid pooling orange, offensively artificial, that dapples the chicken-wire and rust of the fences that my sad little window gazes out upon. The darkness is a sheet; not velvet or silk but corrugated iron. Something harsh and solid. I’m still a bit drunk, I tell myself, and I’m only awake because my body needs water. It can’t be later than 4am.
As if in some twisted cue from Fate my phone pulses in my hand with an alarm; the shock jolts me out of my hazy reverie and back into an unforgiving reality in which, I realise with those God forsaken windchime tones of the Apple alarm system, it is fucking 8am.
Suddenly the swaddling of my throws and pillows feels suffocating, and Armstrong’s bluesy croak is an elegy, and Oh My God I may as well just go back to sleep if this is what waits for me outside. Squinting through the darkness that seems, if anything, to have become more invasive since peeling back the curtains I can make out the unnerving contours of my “sad lamp”, affectionally coined by my mother, whose Angel-Gabriel-esque beams of white football-stadium light are supposed to substitute the lack of sunlight we get over winter. The seasonal depression hits harder when you’re away from home, and every little helps, but to turn on what is essentially an industrial strength lighthouse torchlight when you’re essay writing feels like a sad admittance of defeat. It looms on my desk, waiting for the switch to be flicked in some last-ditch attempt at dopamine release.
Fast-forward through a day of dreary study and weary footsteps, everything seeming heavier and thicker through the absurd amount of clothes on my body, I dreg myself home to get ready for the night. Replace the weighty scarf from my neck with faux pearls and cheap silver, exchange sweats for skirts and swipe something dark and smudgy across my eyelids. I shuffle a playlist that spits out glam rock after disco-whizz, and pour a drink into my classiest spun-glass chalice with the aquamarine lip and stem. The curtains are drawn and the candles are burning. It’s dark as pitch outside. I check my phone, with the intent to ask my friends if they’re ready to start pre-ing. But I haven’t learnt my sorry lesson.
[Naomi Maeve- @thangsbynaomi ]
[Photo credits: cottonbro]