How did Hamlet’s father die? …cursed juice of hebenon in a vial, and in the porches of my ears did pour… Can I do that? It’s not legal to do that. But totally untraceable, right? Actually no. They did catch the killer and his mistress. Mistress? Wife later. What is “hebenon” any way? Do they sell it at the supermarket? What am I doing thinking about Hamlet? Stop this racket. Stop this racket. I am tired. Please stop this racket.
The incessant snoring was driving her insane. She couldn’t sleep. Back at home, dad used to remove the batteries from the wall clocks just so they wouldn’t go ticking in the night and disturb her sleep. Mum made dad remove his flip-flops so he wouldn’t go slapping them all over the tile floor, disturbing people in the wee hours of the morning. She herself had removed the batteries from her wall clock on the day she entered her new house… 12:13 it pointed at… eternally! But now, there was this god awful noise… like someone was try to saw through a cat. Sometimes it was like a chain saw. At other times it sounded like there was woodpecker right on her pillow going at it… tut tut tut tut tut tut tut tut tut tut tut tut tut tut…
She got out of the bed and checked the time. 01:30 in the morning. It was Thursday already. But still 3 and a half hours until sunrise. She had forgotten when she last got a full night’s sleep.
Three weeks ago, he turned up with a two week notice… “Guess what you are doing in two weeks time? I am guessing you are playing hostess to me… for 6 whole weeks!”. Three whole weeks ago… She had slept peacefully. She had been cheerful. She knew a long time back she didn’t love him. She was with him out of this arcane sense of responsibility, duty and let’s face it… a ton of guilt but she had made her peace with that. Nobody put a gun to her head. Nobody forced her to stay with him. Nobody “made” her do anything. She was the sole perpetrator of this atrocity on her self. Great!
They had gotten into a fight. What was the fight about? She should ask her neighbours. They heard it. The whole neighbourhood heard it. The whole street heard it. There is actually a slim chance the naked guy that begs by the station with his dog… he too might have heard it. Embarrassing? Yes. But that didn’t bother her. After being yelled at on the streets, in the kitchen within hearing distance of the housemates, in the store… she was getting used to the scenes and the general drama. But what made her lose sleep (other than the “first whistle, then snort” snore that was going on right now) was the strange clarity that came from realising what had just happened… again.
He had walked out of the room yelling, “I need some air.” This was after midnight. She had asked him to take his keys along so she didn’t have to stay awake and he could take his time on the walk. But he had bashed the room door on his way out saying, “I can’t find my keys. You can stay awake or sleep. I will probably just stay outside all night.”. The door had made the kind of noise that would have woken up every soul, living or dead in the tiny flat conversion. Cue the cringe.
He had known. He had known she would stay awake, if only to stop him from ringing the doorbell in the dead of the night. He had known she would crumble and call and apologise. He had her like a puppet on strings. He had known her through and through. He had known from experience. This wasn’t the first time he had done something like that. And she had let it happen. She hadn’t had the strength to call his bluff. She didn’t even know if it was a bluff.
Is it abuse if the marks are only on your mind and not on your body? Does feeling suffocated by the presence of someone instead of perhaps a pillow on your face, count as torture? Is slowly allowing your body to degenerate by sickness of the mind and not doing anything about it classified as suicide?
She had called him and apologised. She had asked him to come back. She had done the right thing. And he had come back. And hugged her. And kissed her. And she had wished he had been stabbed by one of those invisible faceless creeps, that all women feel following them in the dead of the night. Or get bitten by one of the rabid foxes. But no such luck.
Is it forgivable if someone wants to “murder by guitar string” their betrothed at 01:42 in the morning due to severe lack of sleep? Is it human to manipulate someone so although you do not hit them they feel lacerated anyway? Is it ok if you scare someone into submission as long as no weapons are used and no violence to the body has been suggested? Is it acceptable to kill your body to avoid the slow death of your mind?
She shook him awake and asked him to pick the duvet he had kicked over to the floor on the other side. He got up, picked the duvet and she prayed she could fall asleep before the next burst of snores started. The next time she looked at her watch, the time was 02:00 in the morning. She had managed to sleep for at least 15 full minutes.
They say the longest any human has ever stayed alive without sleeping was 11 days. Maybe these 15 minutes would keep her alive a bit longer. Maybe she could add a bit extra cheese to his pasta sauce tomorrow. Maybe that will give him nightmares and keep him awake a bit longer. Maybe it will clog his arteries and kill him a bit sooner.
What is hope?
Time to drop the duvet over his side of the bed again. Just 3 more hours until sunrise.